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Interrelationship between Androgen Levels, Ageing, and Cognitive Functions

Author(s): Hanumanthachar Joshi | Milind Parle

Journal: Iranian Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
ISSN 1735-2657

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 95;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Ageing | Androgen | Cognitive function

As men get older, there is a decline in functioning of many biological systems; the endocrine systems share such changes in hormone levels. Ageing in men is accompanied by progressive, but individually variable decline in serum testosterone production in healthy men especially in men over 60 years of age. Androgens determine the differentiation of male internal and external genitalia as well as the development and maintain ace of male secondary sex characteristics and male reproductive function. They have important metabolic effects on protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism and contribute to the determination of muscle mass and strength and also affect behavior and cognition. In ageing men, the serum androgen levels are affected due to several factors such as , circadian rhythmicity, heredity, body mass, diet, stress, life style, smoking, alcohol, and exercise. The decreased levels androgen may lead to senile osteroporosis, hypogonadism, decreased libido and brain functions. The incidence of cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease is also high in testosterone deficient adults. The relationship between endogenous plasma testosterone levels, visual-spatial orientation, depression and brain function plays a vital role while treating aged males with cognitive disorders associated with decline in testosterone levels. The present paper highlights various aspects of ageing associated decline in androgen levels, cognitive function and usefulness and risk of androgen replacement therapy in aged males.

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