Testosterone May Help Men With Multiple Sclerosis
Men With Multiple Sclerosis
Clinical trial now underway to confirm that the female hormone estriol combats the effects of multiple sclerosis in women, a recently completed UCLA pilot study shows promise for the use of testosterone to combat the effects of the disease in men.
Reporting in the May issue of the journal Archives of Neurology, Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl, director of UCLA's Multiple Sclerosis Program, and her colleagues found that the application of a testosterone gel reduced symptoms, slowed brain degeneration and increased muscle mass in men with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease. Testosterone also has been shown to protect against an MS-like condition in animals.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease involving the immune and central nervous systems. Like many other autoimmune diseases, in which the body attacks its own systems or tissues, MS is less common in men than in women, said Voskuhl, with a ratio of about three women to one man. Voskuhl has long thought that sex hormones and/or sex chromosomes may be responsible for this enhanced susceptibility.