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How Does Testosterone Affect The Brain?
The most common effects of testosterone on the brain are that it increases social dominance behaviors, and risky decision making. The more testosterone present during fetal development, then again during puberty and adolescence, the more likely that person will be intelligent but lacking in certain social skills, such as empathy or restraint. They may also act more aggressively.
Both human and animal research has shown that aggression increases when supplemental testosterone is used during adolescence (beginning at puberty and ending by about age 27 in most men and women). When used by adults, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Put another way, those guys who get more aggressive and blame it on “roid rage” are probably just a-holes and have always been a-holes. Taking testosterone just gives them, and everyone around them, a convenient excuse for their behavior.
In general, men, but not women, with higher levels of naturally occurring testosterone appear to have better memory recall. This has led some researchers to study whether there might be a link between low testosterone and greater risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. When aging men with or without low testosterone and having impaired or no impaired brain function have been prescribed medical testosterone, the improvements on brain function seem to support that a link between testosterone and age-related cognitive diseases may indeed exist.
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