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Does a Low Testosterone Level Predict Dementia? 

Testosterone is essential in maintaining the health of the male body. As the primary male sex hormone, testosterone is used to regulate muscle mass and fat distribution, and produce red blood cells, sex drive, and sperm count in men. Adequate testosterone levels improve men’s overall health, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity. Low testosterone levels in men can lead to various health problems, including dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a general term used to describe a decrease in brain function. There are several different kinds of dementia, and unfortunately, there is no cure. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, language problems, problem-solving issues, and the inability to perform daily activities. Dementia can be a devastating diagnosis for the entire family. Even though dementia is often a genetic condition, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the disease.

Causes of Low Testosterone Levels

As men age, a natural decline in total testosterone levels occurs. Although it is normal to experience a slight decrease in testosterone levels with age, several other factors can influence testosterone deficiency. Testosterone is produced in the body when the hypothalamus signals to the pituitary gland to release a luteinizing hormone (LH). LH stimulates the Leydig cells within the testicles to produce testosterone. When the testes fail to produce testosterone, this is primary hypogonadism. Secondary hypogonadism is when there is a problem within the hypothalamus or pituitary gland that prevents testosterone production.

Other causes of low testosterone include

  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Low Testosterone and Dementia

Recent studies have demonstrated a drastic increase in the risk of dementia in older men with low testosterone levels. The studies have revealed that older men with low testosterone levels are 2.3 times more likely to develop dementia than men with normal testosterone levels. Men over 80 are at an even high risk of developing dementia. The lower your testosterone levels become as you age, the greater your risk of developing dementia.

Benefits of Testosterone Supplementation

Even a slight decline in your testosterone level can negatively impact your overall health. It is important to properly maintain your testosterone levels as you age to prevent the development of dementia in the future. Testosterone supplementation can improve memory and concentration as well as provide many other benefits, including

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Improved energy levels
  • A sense of wellbeing
  • Anxiety relief
  • Decreased symptoms of depression

If you think testosterone replacement therapy is right for you, contact your doctor for more information.