Testosterone may slow cognitive decline in women
Researchers from Monash University in Australia say that giving testosterone treatments to postmenopausal women can improve their verbal learning and memory. While menopause is linked with memory decline due to decreased production of the female sex hormone estrogen, this study found that giving older women treatments of the male sex hormone can help protect them against cognitive decline that often accompanies menopause. Testosterone can also help give women a boost in sexual desire, bone density and energy while improving mood.
In this study, the research team looked at 92 postmenopausal women aged 55 to 65 who were not receiving estrogen therapy. The women had testosterone gel applied to the upper arm or were given a placebo applied the same way. The treatments lasted for 26 weeks. The women were evaluated for cognitive function before the treatments began, at 12 weeks and after week 26 of the study. After the final treatment, the women who received the testosterone therapy showed significant improvement in verbal learning and memory – how well they recalled word from a list. They performed an average of 1.6 points higher than the placebo group.
The women involved reported no major side effects from the treatments.