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Testosterone may help men with multiple sclerosis

Contact: Mark Wheeler
310-794-2265
JAMA and Archives Journals

A small pilot study suggests that testosterone treatment is safe, well tolerated and may reduce symptoms, slow brain degeneration and increase muscle mass in men with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease involving the immune and central nervous systems. MS and many other autoimmune diseases (in which the body attacks its own systems or tissues) are less common in men than in women, according to background information in the article. This is especially true during reproductive years. Sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, may be responsible for the difference. Testosterone has been shown to protect against an MS–like condition and other autoimmune diseases in animals.

Nancy L. Sicotte, M.D., of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a study of testosterone treatment in 10 men with relapsing-remitting MS, characterized by periods of neurologic symptoms (such as numbness or difficulty walking) followed by periods of remission. The men, who had an average age of 46, were enrolled in the study and then entered a six-month pre-treatment phase, during which symptoms were monitored but no therapies were administered. Then, each man applied 10 grams of a gel containing 100 milligrams of testosterone to his upper arms once daily for 12 months.

“One year of treatment with testosterone gel was associated with improvement in cognitive performance and a slowing of brain atrophy [deterioration],” the authors write. During the first nine months of the study—the period of time before the men began taking testosterone, plus the first three months of treatment, before it had time to take effect—brain volume decreased an average of -0.81 percent per year. In the second nine months, this decline slowed by 67 percent to an annual rate of -0.25 percent. “Because the protective effect of testosterone treatment on brain atrophy was observed in the absence of an appreciable anti-inflammatory effect, this protection may not be limited to MS, but may be applicable to those with non-inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases,” including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the authors write.

In addition, lean body mass (muscle mass) increased an average of 1.7 kilograms (about 3.74 pounds) during the treatment phase. Participants did not report any adverse effects, there were no abnormalities in blood tests taken during the trial and the men’s prostate examination results remained stable.

“Overall, in this first trial of testosterone treatment in men with relapsing-remitting MS, the treatment was shown to be safe and well tolerated,” the authors conclude. “In addition, exploratory findings reported herein suggest a possible neuroprotective effect of testosterone treatment in men, which warrants further investigation.”

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(Arch Neurol. 2007;64:683-688. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://www.jamamedia.org.)

Editor’s Note: This study was supported by grants from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the General Clinical Research Centers at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the Sherak Family Foundation and the Skirball Foundation. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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May 14, 2007 - Posted by | Global, Global Health Vision, Global News, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis

4 Comments »

  1. Maps of UV Sunlight exposure correlate with incidence of Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis.

    If you take NASA space satellite photos of North America and color code the UV sunlight exposure as Dr. Grant has done on his web site: http://www.sunarc.org/index.htm, you will see a pattern remarkably similar to the incidence of cancer and multiple sclerosis. This is thought to be due to differences in Vitamin D levels. The farther north with less sun exposure and lower Vitamin D levels, there is an increased incidence of cancer and multiple sclerosis.

    Diseases Caused By, or Associated With Vitamin D Deficiency:

    Again here is the list: Osteoporosis, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease, Cancer, Depression, Epilepsy, Type One Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Autoimmune Diseases, Migraine Headache, PolyCystic Ovary Disease (PCOS), Musculoskeletal and bone pain, Psoriasis.

    Vitamin D deficiency has been reported in 57% of 290 medical inpatients in Massachusetts, 93% of 150 patients with overt musculoskeletal pain in Minnesota, 48% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis, 50% of patients with lupus and fibromyalgia, 42% of healthy adolescents, 40% of African American Women, and 62 % of the morbidly obese, 83% of 360 patients with low back pain in Saudi Arabia, 73% of Austrian patients with Ankylosisng Spondylitis, 58% of Japanese girls with Graves’s Disease, 40% of Chinese adolescent girls, 40-70% of all Finnish medical patients.

    For more info on MS, please see my a href=”http://jeffreydach.com/2007/06/10/vitamin-d-deficiency–by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx>Vitamin D Newsletter

    One frequently asked question concerning testosterone supplementation for men in the over 50 age group is:

    Does Testosterone Therapy cause Prostate Cancer in males?

    The answer is NO acording to Dr. Rhoden who reported in the January 2004 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Dr. Rhoden reviewed 72 medical studies and found no evidence that testosterone therapy causes prostate cancer.

    More information and a link to the Rhoden article can be found at this page:

    Low Testosterone Diagnosis and Treatment

    Jeffrey Dach MD

    Comment by jeffreydach | June 15, 2007 | Reply

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    Many people are sick, learn more here

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  3. Black History

    Black History

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