Memory loss as a reported symptom of andropause
Tan RS.
Department of Family Practice & Community Medicine,
University of Texas, Houston 77030, USA.
Arch Androl 2001 Nov-Dec;47(3):185-9


Andropause seem to be less defined than menopause. This study on older patients describes how they perceive and understand this aging process. A noninterventional, cross-sectional study was performed to determine what men report as symptoms of andropause to ascertain if memory loss was a predominant feature. The hypothesis was that androgens such as testosterone are responsible for visual-spatial and memory development. As such the aging process of andropause, which is associated with declines in testosterone levels, would lead to memory loss. A standardized questionnaire of 22 questions was administered to 302 outpatients of a medical center. Information on patient demographics, understanding of andropause, and risk factors was collected. Of the 302 patients, 71% were above 60 years and whites predominated at 87%. Memory loss was reported in 36% of the patients who felt that they had experienced andropause. It was the third most common symptom after erectile dysfunction (46%) and general weakness (41%). Twenty-two percent of the 302 patients had a history of diabetes. Among those who reported that they had undergone andropause, diabetic patients were more likely to report memory loss (p = .03, OR = 1.9. CI = 1.1-3.4). Sixty-four percent of patients reported the onset of andropause to be between 50 and 70 years (the median age being 50-60 years). This study highlights the importance of testosterone in maintaining cognitive functions. It supports studies of testosterone replacement in men undergoing andropause and who have concomitant dementia. The results parallel recent reports of the neuroprotective effects of estrogens in preventing dementia. Diabetes is associated with memory loss because of the additional insults to cognitive function of the brain secondary to ischemia.

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