Testosterone and Stroke Recovery: Research Finds a Connection
Preliminary studies are showing that testosterone may actually help men recover after they’ve had a stroke.
That surprises many, because it directly contradicts the rumors (based on incomplete research) saying TRT—Testosterone Replacement Therapy—increases the dangers of heart attacks and strokes.
Could Testosterone Help Stroke Patients?
Aninda B. Acharya, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and author of preliminary animal research that opened the door to further studies directly applicable to human stroke patients, had the following comments:
“We’re studying giving testosterone for a different indication than people are used to. But the patients who have low testosterone have the same symptoms we treat in stroke patients. If you look at what happens to patients with strokes, their strength is affected. Their thinking is affected. They’re depressed. Their sex drive has decreased. There are all sorts of similarities. I don’t think they’re superficial similarities.”
Testosterone and Stroke Recovery: The Research
Let’s take a deeper look at the current research findings regarding testosterone and stroke recovery.
The prevalence of low testosterone diagnoses increases in older men by 30% at approximately age 70, and then by 50% in men at around age 80.
Many male post-stroke rehabilitation patients are elderly, which means that, according to the data above, they have potential age-related testosterone deficiencies. Adding to the age factor, the brain damage resulting from strokes can increase the likelihood of accompanying hormone imbalance.
It stands to reason that low levels of testosterone have been discovered in male stroke patients.
The study included 111 male stroke patients with an average age of 74 years. Within three days of hospital admission, free testosterone (Free-T) was measured early in the morning, and 32 patients were measured at discharge from the hospital. measured in 32 patients at discharge. The normal range of Free-T for males aged ≥ 70 years is 4.5–13.8 pg/ml, and the mean Free-T concentration of the test subjects was quite low, measured at 4.7 pg/ml. There were no significant differences between admission Free-T level and discharge Free-T level in the 32 patients measured.
The results showed that higher Free-T levels upon admission were significantly associated with higher functionality in conducting daily activities in patients under the age of 76 years old. In other words, those with higher testosterone levels were better able to recover from their stroke symptoms.
The authors of this study had the following to say regarding their results.
“Testosterone deficiency is associated with low physical function, diminished activities of daily living (ADL), lack of motivation, easy fatigability (fatigue), and memory deterioration. Testosterone supplementation is well known to improve muscle strength, physical function in humans, and neuroprotection against brain injury in rat models.
“In conclusion, our study demonstrated a significant relationship between Free-T serum levels and post-stroke functional recovery. These findings suggest the importance of Free-T in the functional recovery of older male stroke patients.”
That is to say, testosterone supplementation through TRT could aid in the recovery from debilitating stroke symptoms in patients suffering very low testosterone levels. This makes logical sense when you consider that testosterone replacement therapy is recommended for men who have chronic low testosterone levels that are accompanied by symptoms similar to those displayed by stroke victims, namely:
- Low libido
- Muscle weakness and early deterioration of muscle mass
- Mild depression
- Cognitive problems and memory loss
The Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is the most effective way to restore and then maintain healthy testosterone levels for men who are chronically deficient and at risk for numerous health complications. We’d like to tell you more about how TRT can help you feel like you again.