Statistics show that men are three times less likely than women to develop multiple sclerosis. Research has shown that men also develop MS at a later age than women and that their disease is more progressive. Could this all be related to “low T,” or low testosterone?
Researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital have been researching this possibility. It’s part of a larger group of studies named CLIMB (Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis). Some of the findings that relate to testosterone are described in a recent article in the e-letter of the Accelerated Cure Project for MS.
Benefits versus risks
A better way to use testosterone with MS patients?
The Accelerated Cure Project article also reports that researchers at Northwestern University recently discovered that the immune system of someone with MS produces a cell called Th17 that can attack myelin. But they also found that in mice, Th17 production can be halted by a molecule called IL-33. And IL-33, these researchers say, appears to be produced by testosterone.
The Accelerated Care Project article concludes with the opinion that “treatment with testosterone is not a viable option for MS patients as its neuroprotective effect has yet to be confirmed and its risks outweigh its benefits. However, the newly discovered (Th17/IL-33) pathway testosterone regulates holds great promise in the development of more targeted therapies.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if “T” could be regulated to treat, and maybe even prevent, MS?
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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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