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Testosterone And Working Memory; Epilepsy And Schizophrenia; Toxins And Neuron Death; Oregon Researchers Present Findings At Society For Neuroscience

Here is a summary of some of the material being presented by Oregon Health Sciences University researchers at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting October 25-30 in New Orleans:

SCIENTISTS FIND TESTOSTERONE SUPPLEMENTS IMPROVE WORKING MEMORY IN OLDER MEN

OHSU scientists have discovered that older men given supplements of the male sex hormone testosterone showed significant improvement over time in working memory. "Working memory is the ability to hold information in one's mind while updating the information over brief periods of time," said Jeri Janowsky, Ph.D., lead author of the report and associate professor of neurology and behavioral neuroscience at OHSU. Earlier studies showed older men and women between the ages of 60 and 75 perform worse on working memory tests than matched groups of people between 25 and 35.

In the study being presented this week, older men tested first without supplementation then again after one month of testosterone supplementation showed significant improvement in performance and fewer errors than men tested after one month on a placebo. Janowsky says the study indicates that sex hormone supplementation in men may mitigate the loss of working memory associated with aging. Estrogen and testosterone levels were not related to working memory in either younger or older women.

While previous studies have shown that sex hormones are important for the development of the brain, this study shows that sex hormones may play a role in modulating brain function throughout life.

INVESTIGATORS EXPLORE OPPOSING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN EPILEPSY AND SCHIZOPHRENIA

Animal tests of a drug used to treat schizophrenia may shed light on the opposing relationship between that disorder and epilepsy, according to Janice Stevens, M.D., and Duane Denney, M.D. of the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences Uni
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Contact: Henry Sessions
sessionh@ohsu.edu
(503) 494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
24-Oct-1997


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