Androgens and Alzheimer's disease

Eleanor S. Drummond, Alan R. Harvey, Ralph N. Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review: To discuss the relationship between androgens, cognition and Alzheimer's disease. Recent findings: It has been found that low circulating levels of androgens are a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Decreased circulating androgens are also associated with declining cognitive performance, particularly in memory-related tasks. Conversely, androgen supplementation to hypogonadal men results in improved memory performance. It has therefore been hypothesized that androgen supplementation may be beneficial in Alzheimer's disease. In recent studies, animal models have been used to elucidate the molecular mechanism behind this relationship between androgens and Alzheimer's disease. These studies have shown that androgen depletion results in increased levels of beta amyloid and hyperphosphorylated tau, changes which are thought to be associated with subsequent neuronal death. Summary: Androgen depletion results in molecular changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. Further human trials are needed to determine whether androgen modulating therapy for Alzheimer's disease has clinical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-259
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Androgen
  • Beta amyloid
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Phosphorylated tau
  • Testosterone


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