Crohn′s disease – chronic pain and no cure
July 25, 2018
The Difficulties of Keeping Your Job When You Have Multiple Sclerosis
July 25, 2018
Show all

‘Low T’ and MS Risk in Men

Why do women get multiple sclerosis more often than men?

Statistics show that men are three times less likely than women to develop multiple sclerosis. Research has shown that men also develop MS at a later age than women and that their disease is more progressive. Could this all be related to “low T,” or low testosterone?

Researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital have been researching this possibility. It’s part of a larger group of studies named CLIMB (Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis). Some of the findings that relate to testosterone are described in a recent article in the e-letter of the Accelerated Cure Project for MS.

According to the e-letter, interim results have revealed that a lot of men with MS also have low testosterone levels. Other recent research has indicated that low “T” levels may be an MS risk factor.
If that’s so, could testosterone therapy help with MS symptoms? According to the article, maybe so. A small pilot study of male MS patients by the UCLA medical school demonstrated that testosterone therapy provided significant improvements in cognitive function and slowed brain tissue loss. The article cautions, however, that this study still needs to be validated by a study that’s both larger and placebo-controlled.

Benefits versus risks

The UCLA researchers write that there is a “potential to reverse gray matter atrophy associated with MS.” They think that combined with current treatments in MS that aim primarily to prevent inflammation and brain lesions, “testosterone may provide a complementary treatment aimed at neuroprotection via the preservation/restoration of gray matter.”
Any beneficial results, however, would have to be weighed against the many possible side effects of testosterone therapy. These include an increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, cancer, stroke, high red blood cell counts that could increase the risk of clotting, reduced sperm count, and emotional problems.

A better way to use testosterone with MS patients?

The Accelerated Cure Project article also reports that researchers at Northwestern University recently discovered that the immune system of someone with MS produces a cell called Th17 that can attack myelin. But they also found that in mice, Th17 production can be halted by a molecule called IL-33. And IL-33, these researchers say, appears to be produced by testosterone.

Read on: ‘Low T’ and MS Risk in Men – Multiple Sclerosis News Today

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

Comments are closed.