• Health: Testosterone Increases Brains’ Response To Threat

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    Testosterone is one of the most important, but commonly misrepresented hormones found in the body. Most of the information provided to the public comes from exposes on professional athletes.

    The researchers recruited 16 healthy young male volunteers, who completed two test days on which they received either testosterone or placebo. On both testing days, the men first received a drug that suppressed their testosterone. This step ensured that testosterone levels were similar among all study participants. The amount of testosterone administered in this study only returned testosterone levels to the normal range. Subjects then completed a face-matching task while undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan.

    Data analyses revealed that, compared with placebo,testosterone increased reactivity of the amygdala, hypothalamus andperiaqueductal grey when viewing angry facial expressions.

    “We were able to show for the first time that increasing levels of testosterone within the normal physiological range can have a profound effect on brain circuits that are involved in threat-processing and human aggression,” said Carré, Assistant Professor at Nipissing University.

    “Understanding testosterone effects on the brain activity patterns associated with threat and aggression may …

    Current practice states that men with prostate cancer should not receive testosterone as it is thought to accelerate an active case. Note that testosterone is not thought to cause prostate cancer, but may speed up the severity of the disease. Men who are, or have been treated for prostate cancer are at risk for the fatigue and decreased libido of low testosterone as well.

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