You misplace your car keys again. Or you forget what you came downstairs to retrieve. Or you just can’t remember that guy’s name. Some might call these experiences “senior moments,” the inevitable consequences of getting older. But forgetfulness and the loss of other key cognitive functions are not just something you must accept.
Our cognitive abilities are influenced by many factors including genes, our environment—and our hormones. Hormones regulate many functions in the body. The neural networks that control brain functions such as memory are no exception. For men, one of the most important of those hormones is testosterone.
As men age, testosterone levels decrease gradually but steadily, making them difficult to appreciate until symptoms become severe. Some men, however, experience a steeper drop, which may result in significant symptoms, including diminished cognitive function. In these cases, supplementing the body’s natural testosterone with hormone replacement therapy could support improved cognitive function.
The Relationship Between Testosterone and Cognition
Although the relationship between hormones and cognition is not fully understood, evidence suggests that “the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone appear to have neuroprotective effects in cognitive aging.” As a result, low testosterone levels may exacerbate the normal effects of aging by compromising that protection, potentially resulting in multiple cognitive symptoms which can be significant.
One research group at the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health found that high free testosterone levels were “associated with better scores on visual and verbal memory, visuospatial functioning, and visuomotor scanning and a reduced rate of longitudinal decline in visual memory.” Meanwhile, men with low testosterone “had significantly lower scores on measures of memory and visuospatial performance and a faster rate of decline in visual memory.”
This connection between low testosterone and cognitive decline has spurred widespread interest in the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to promote cognitive function. A recent meta-analysis found that older men whose total testosterone levels were raised via HRT experienced significant improvements in executive function, psychomotor speed, and overall cognitive function. As the authors of a 2016 study supporting the use of HRT say, these effects are, at least in part, “believed to be related to the enhancement of brain perfusion.” In other words, testosterone replacement therapy may increase blood flow to critical parts of the brain to potentially improve performance.
Could Hormone Replacement Therapy Help Your Cognitive Function?
Men often delay seeking help for mild cognitive symptoms because they typically come on gradually and initially cause minimal disruption. It doesn’t seem like a big deal. But over time, forgetfulness and other cognitive challenges can become more pronounced. And if your cognition is compromised by low T, you likely begin to experience a variety of additional physical and emotional symptoms that diminish your quality of life. At this point, relying on calendars, labels, and lists to help you cope isn’t enough. You need real support.
If you suspect low T may be contributing to your cognitive symptoms, telehealth has made that support more accessible than ever before:
- A convenient, private telemedicine consultation gives you the opportunity to discuss your symptoms with a knowledgeable practitioner who specializes in hormone health and integrative medicine.
- An at-home testing kit can be completed in the comfort of your own home, allowing your practitioner to gain an in-depth understanding of your hormonal landscape.
- If your practitioner determines you are a candidate for hormone therapy, custom-compounded medications can be delivered directly to your doorstep.
After you begin HRT, you can have virtual follow-up visits with your practitioner to track your progress and make adjustments as needed.
You do not have to accept forgetfulness, lack of concentration, and misplaced items as your new normal. With the availability of expert help, convenient and close at hand, there is no reason to wait. Addressing cognitive function and other disruptive symptoms of low T is now easier than ever. Supporting cognitive function and other symptoms with hormone replacement therapy may help to preserve optimal health and promote longevity.
If you are worried about your cognitive function and suspect low testosterone may be the cause, BodyLogicMD wants to help. The expert practitioners in the BodyLogicMD network can assess your needs and design a personalized BalancePro plan to help you on the path toward your health goals—from virtually anywhere. Set up your telemedicine consultation, or take the Hormone Balance Quiz to learn more about the programs offered by BodyLogicMD.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.