All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for July 2003

MS may suppress testosterone

Monday July 21, 2003
Boston Cure Project

Here's some more (bad) news about men and MS -- a recent study suggests that MS may decrease testosterone production, at least in some men:

A team of researchers from Portland, Oregon found that male mice with EAE had abnormally low levels of testosterone (female mice, in contrast, had normal amounts of estrogen). They then tested four men with MS who reported sexual dysfunction in the form of decreased libido and erectile dysfunction and found that each had lower than normal levels of testosterone. Each subject's dysfunction improved after administration of supplemental testosterone.

The authors speculate that the inflammatory cytokines produced in MS may disrupt the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis which regulates production of testosterone and other sex hormones. They suggest that sexual dysfunction in MS, which is commonly blamed on spinal cord damage, may in some cases be due to testosterone suppression. They also propose that because testosterone is immunomodulatory, the sensitivity of its production to inflammation may help explain why MS tends to progress more rapidly in men than in women."

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