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Testosterone Shows Promise As Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Exploratory trial suggests it has neuroprotective effect in men

MONDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Men with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis may benefit from treatment with testosterone, according to the results of a small study published in the May issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Nancy L. Sicotte, M.D., of the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a study of 10 men with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who received no treatment for the first six months of the trial (control), and were then treated for 12 months with a 10-g daily dose of gel containing 100 mg of testosterone.

After a year of treatment, there was an improvement in the men's cognitive performance and a slowing of brain atrophy. Gadolinium-enhancing lesion number and volumes were unaffected by the treatment, and there was an increase in lean body mass.

Although the authors acknowledge that the small sample size means the findings must be treated with caution, and may not apply to patients with more aggressive multiple sclerosis, they recommend further investigation.

"Overall, in this first trial of testosterone treatment in men with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the treatment was shown to be safe and well-tolerated, and led to increases in lean body mass. In addition, exploratory findings…suggest a possible neuroprotective effect of testosterone treatment in men," the authors conclude.

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