Testosterone Overload Kills Brain Cells
> 9/28/2006 3:00:32 PM

"Roid Rage," depression and many other negative side effects have been observed and categorized in relation to the use of steroids and other androgens. New research suggests that a possible explanation for these negative outcomes could be that excess levels of testosterone in the brain leads to mass apoptosis, or programmed suicide, by brain cells. Researchers working at Yale University have published findings in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that illustrate the destructive effects of higher than normal levels of testosterone in the brain. The group also tested estrogen, and found that if anything, it's effects were neuroprotective.

Speaking to Reuters, the study's senior author, Barbara Ehrlich said:

"Too little testosterone is bad, too much is bad but the right amount is perfect. Other people have shown that high levels of steroid can cause behavioral changes. We can show that when you have high levels of steroids, you have high testosterone and that can destroy the nerve cells. We know that when you lose brain cells you lose function."

Researchers noted that the effect of the increased testosterone appears to be similar to the degenerative effects seen with the neurological diseases Huntington's or Alzheimer's. The group's results, if proven accurate, point to some of the strongest and most striking evidence of the negative impact that steroid abuse, one of the most common explanations of high testosterone levels, can have on bodies. Further inquiries may also reveal how these types of changes can affect the brain and neurological development over the long term.

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