Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 385–393 | Cite as

Steroid hormones and cognitive functioning in aging men

A mini-review
  • Barbara B. SherwinEmail author
Alzheimer’s Therapeutics: Cognitive Enhancement


The decrease in testosterone (T) production in aging men has been well documented. Because the majority of circulating estradiol (E2) in men arises through aromatization of T, levels of E2 decrease as well with increasing age. It is also clear that some proportion of men develop impairments in aspects of cognition, particularly in explicit memory and language abilities with normal aging. Although there is a paucity of studies that have attempted to determine whether the decline in the endocrine and cognitive changes in older men are related, findings from the extant literature provide some support for the notion that estrogen is important for aspects of memory in aging men, just as it is in women, whereas T helps to maintain visuospatial abilities. More definitive conclusions on the relationship between the sex hormones and specific cognitive functions in men awaitmore careful investigation in this area in the future.

Index Entries

Estrogen testosterone cortisol cognition aging men 


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© Humana Press Inc 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Department of OB/GYNMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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