Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Testosterone protects you from getting MS

How does low testosterone increase your risk of getting MS? #MSBlog #MSResearch

"There are many reasons why MS may be more common in females than males. The following epidemiological study suggests high testosterone levels in males may protect you from getting MS. How? To be honest I haven't a clue. What this study shows that men with testicular hypofunction have a much greater risk of developing MS than normal males. This observation will need to be explained when we finally pin down the cause of MS. I sincerely hope that countries such as Sweden and Denmark, with national databases, try and reproduce this observation; it may be a lot more important than we realise."


Epub: Pakpoor et al. Testicular hypofunction and multiple sclerosis risk: A record-linkage study. Ann Neurol. 2014 Aug 18. doi: 10.1002/ana.24250.

Background: The influence of gonadal hormones on multiple sclerosis is not well characterised and has thus far been investigated primarily in animal models or as a proposed therapeutic approach.

Methods: We investigated a potential association between testicular hypofunction, as a proxy for low testosterone levels, and multiple sclerosis risk through analysis of linked English national Hospital Episode Statistics from 1999 to 2011. 

Results: We report a strong positive association between testicular hypofunction and subsequent multiple sclerosis, rate ratio 4.62 (95% confidence interval 2.3-8.24, p<0.0001). 

Conclusion: Future work should aim more directly to elucidate the relationship between testosterone levels and MS in both males and females. 

CoI: Julia Pakpoor is part of our group

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