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"Testosterone may protect men from Alzheimer's"

Vancouver Sun

Source: Vancouver Sun

Published: 20 Dec 2021

Category: Other

Rating: (2 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Testosterone patches can not only boost potency and sex drive, they may protect the male brain from Alzheimer's disease.

A new study shows testosterone therapy reduces levels of a sticky protein that causes plaque build-up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

So far, the work has been done only in mice. But University of Southern California researchers believe "that we are on to something" and that testosterone replacement therapy might one day treat or prevent Alzheimer's in aging men

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

While we don't typically review mice studies, the blaring headlines of this one caught our attention. The story has potentially big implications, if the findings truly reflect the situation in humans. It is short on numbers, and there is no clear evidence presented which would help make a convincing case.

The reference to the situation with women and estrogen and how that has evolved over the last few years is wisely made.

The second-last paragraph is the most interesting -- if we don't know the long-term effects of testosterone, and we don't yet know that it plays a role in preventing Alzheimer disease in humans, then we're sort of tiptoeing around the elephant in the living room if the article fails to address the question: why were 324,000 prescriptions filled for it in Canada this year?

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