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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