Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Normal male aging is associated
with declines in serum levels of the sex steroid hormone testosterone, which
contributes to a range of disorders including osteoporosis and sarcopenia.1 Unknown is how this relationship applies to age-related
disorders in the brain, an androgen-responsive tissue. We hypothesize that
testosterone levels in the brain are depleted as a normal consequence of male
aging and that low brain levels of testosterone increase the risk of developing
Alzheimer disease (AD). Recent data suggest a correspondence between reduced
serum levels of testosterone and the clinical diagnosis of AD.2,3 However,
it is unclear whether testosterone depletion contributes to or results from
the disease process. To investigate this issue, testosterone and estradiol
levels were analyzed in postmortem brain tissue of elderly men and compared
with their neuropathological diagnoses.
Rosario ER, Chang L, Stanczyk FZ, Pike CJ. Age-Related Testosterone Depletion and the Development of Alzheimer Disease. JAMA. 2004;292(12):1431-1432. doi:10.1001/jama.292.12.1431-b