Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Nutrition, Testosterone, Weight Research / 11.03.2022 Interview with: Joe Whittaker, MSc Nutritionist  What is the background for this study?  Response: There are several studies showing a generational decline in men's testosterone levels, beginning in the 1970s. This is due to a variety of factors such as poorer diets, lack of physical activity, and increasing toxin exposure. Therefore, there is intense research interest in ways we can optimise testosterone levels, to combat this generational decline. Some well-known studies have found low-carbohydrate diets boost testosterone levels, but others have show the reverse effect. So, to settle the controversy we gathered and reanalysed all known studies on the topic. There was also the question of high protein diets and their effects on testosterone, which are currently disputed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Pharmaceutical Companies, Testosterone / 18.02.2020 Interview with: Robert E. Dudley, Ph.D. Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Clarus Therapeutics Dr. Dudley discusses the recent announcement that Clarus Therapeutics, Inc. has launched  JATENZO® (testosterone undecanoate) capsules for the treatment of appropriate men with testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism): What is the background for this announcement? Response: JATENZO® is the first and only oral softgel testosterone undecanoate and the first oral testosterone product approved by the U.S. FDA in more than 60 years. JATENZO is indicated for testosterone replacement therapy in adult males for conditions associated with a deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone. The launch of JATENZO means that physicians and men living with testosterone deficiency due to genetic or structural abnormalities finally have a safe and effective oral testosterone replacement therapy. We are proud to commercially launch this unique oral formulation to healthcare providers and the appropriate patients who they treat. JATENZO is now available at pharmacies across the country. (more…)
Author Interviews, Testosterone / 22.07.2019 Interview with: Christel Renoux,  MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurgery McGill University Centre For Clinical Epidemiology Jewish General Hospital - Lady Davis Research Institute Montreal Canada What is the background for this study? Response: Testosterone replacement therapy is increasingly being prescribed for the treatment of non-specific symptoms among aging men. However, there are concerns regarding the cardiovascular safety of testosterone replacement therapy in aging men and warnings have been issued by health agencies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Testosterone / 16.11.2018 Interview with: Dr. Andreas Walther PhD Department of Biological Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland Task Force on Men’s Mental Health of the World Federation of the Societies of Biological Psychiatry What is the background for this study? Response: The study situation with regard to endogenous testosterone level and depressive symptoms in men is currently very mixed. There are studies that show no association, but other studies show that low testosterone levels are associated with increased depressive symptoms. That is why several studies have tried to administer testosterone in men to treat depressive symptomatology among other conditions (e.g. erectile dysfunction, cognitive decline). However, no clear conclusions could be drawn from the studies to date, as some studies reported positive results, while others did not show any effects. Likewise, some studies showed better results in certain subgroups of men such as dysthymic men, treatment resistant, men with low testosterone, which raised the question of relevant moderators. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Testosterone / 19.07.2018 Interview with: Traver Wright, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor Department of Health and Kinesiology Texas A&M University College Station, TX What is the background for this study?   Response: Many cancer patients suffer from a loss of body mass known as cachexia which results in not only a loss of fat, but a debilitating loss of muscle mass and function. This cachexia negatively impacts patient mobility and quality of life, and can also reduce their eligibility to undergo treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.  Despite the profound negative consequences of cachexia, there are no established therapies to directly address this debilitating loss of body mass during treatment. In this National Cancer Institute funded double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined the effectiveness of 7 weeks of treatment with the muscle-building hormone testosterone to preserve the body condition of men and women with cervical or head and neck cancer.  Twenty-one patients received weekly injections of either placebo or testosterone.  Over the 7 weeks of treatment, patients were monitored for changes in body composition, activity level, physical ability, and questionnaires regarding quality of life and well-being. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Sleep Disorders, Testosterone, Urology / 23.05.2018 Interview with: Kristen L. Knutson, PhD Associate Professor Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine Department of Neurology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL  60611​Premal Patel, MD, PGY-5 Urology University of Manitoba What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? What should readers take away from your report? Response: Within the literature there has only been small experimental studies which looked at impaired sleep and testosterone. To our knowledge, there has been no study that has evaluated sleep and testosterone using a population dataset. We utilized the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess the association of sleep with serum testosterone. NHANES examines a nationally representative sample of about ~5000 persons each year. After performing a multivariate linear regression of numerous variables within the NHANES database (age, marital status, prior co-morbidities, number of hours of sleep, etc…) we found that a reduction in the number of hours slept, increasing body mass index and increasing age were associated with lower testosterone levels. Given that this is a cross-sectional analysis, we are unable to provide causality of this relationship but we do feel it is important to counsel patients with low testosterone about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle which includes a well-balanced diet, exercise and sufficient sleep. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JCEM, OBGYNE, Testosterone, UCSD / 24.01.2018 Interview with: Varykina Thackray, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine University of California, San Diego What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown that changes in the composition of intestinal microbes (gut microbiome) are associated with metabolic diseases. Since many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have metabolic dysregulation that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, we wondered whether PCOS was associated with changes in the gut microbiome and if these changes were linked to any clinical features of PCOS. We collaborated with Beata Banaszewska and her colleagues at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland to obtain clinical data and fecal samples from 163 premenopausal women recruited for the study. In collaboration with Scott Kelley at San Diego State University, we used 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to show that the diversity of the gut microbiome was reduced in Polish women with PCOS compared to healthy women and women with polycystic ovaries but no other symptoms of PCOS. The study confirmed findings reported in two other recent studies with smaller cohorts of Caucasian and Han Chinese women. Since many factors could affect the gut microbiome in women with PCOS, regression analysis was used to identify clinical hallmarks that correlated with changes in the gut microbiome. In contrast to body mass index or insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism was associated with changes in the gut microbiome in this cohort of women, suggesting that elevated testosterone may be an important factor in shaping the gut microbiome in women. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Hormone Therapy, Sexual Health, Testosterone / 27.07.2017 Interview with: Carl G Streed Jr. M.D. Pronouns: he, him, his, himself Fellow, Division General Internal Medicine & Primary Care Brigham & Women’s Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recent reports estimate that 0.6% of adults in the United States, or approximately 1.4 million persons, identify as transgender. Despite gains in rights and media attention, the reality is that transgender persons experience health disparities, and a dearth of research and evidence-based guidelines remains regarding their specific health needs. The lack of research to characterize cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factors in transgender populations receiving cross-sex hormone therapy (CSHT) limits appropriate primary and specialty care. As with hormone therapy in cisgender persons (that is, those whose sex assigned at birth aligns with their gender identity), existing research in transgender populations suggests that CVD risk factors are altered by CSHT. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Testosterone / 23.06.2017 Interview with: David M. Kristensen, PhD Assistant Professor                                                                                                         Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3A, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have demonstrated that a reduced level of testosterone during fetal life by paracetamol means that male characteristics do not develop as they should. This also affects sex drive. In the trial, mice exposed to paracetamol at the foetal stage were simply unable to copulate in the same way as our control animals. Male programming had not been properly established during their foetal development and this could be seen long afterwards in their adult life. Moreover, the area of the brain that controls sex drive - the sexual dimorphic nucleus - had half as many neurons in the mice that had received paracetamol as the control mice. The inhibition of testosterone seem to have led to less activity in an area of the brain that is significant for male characteristics. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Testosterone / 24.05.2017 Interview with: Rajat S. Barua, MD; PhD; FACC; FSCAI Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), University of Kansas School of Medicine Director, Cardiovascular Research, Dept. of Cardiology, Kansas City VA Medical Center Director, Interventional Cardiology & Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Kansas City VA Medical Center What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide, with significant morbidity, mortality and financial burden. Atrial fibrillation is known to increase with age and is higher in men than in women. Although the underlying mechanisms of this sex difference are still unclear, one preclinical and several small clinical studies have suggested that testosterone deficiency may play a role in the development of atrial fibrillation. To date, no studies have investigated the effect of testosterone-level normalization on incidence of new atrial fibrillation in men after testosterone replacement therapy. In this study, we investigated the incidence of atrial fibrillation in hypogonadal men with documented low testosterone levels. We compared the incidence of atrial fibrillation among patients who did not receive any testosterone replacement therapy, those who received testosterone replacement therapy that resulted in normalization of total testosterone, and those who received testosterone replacement therapy but that did not result in normal total testosterone levels. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Boehringer Ingelheim, Journal Clinical Oncology, NYU, Prostate Cancer, Testosterone / 16.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Stacy Loeb MD Msc Assistant Professor of Urology and Population Health New York University Langone Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The association between exposure to testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer risk is controversial.  The purpose of our study was to examine this issue using national registries from Sweden, with complete records on prescription medications and prostate cancer diagnoses.  Overall, we found no association between testosterone use and overall prostate cancer risk. There was an early increase in favorable cancers which is likely due to a detection bias, but long-term users actually had a significantly reduced risk of aggressive disease. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Endocrinology, Journal Clinical Oncology, Prostate Cancer, Testosterone / 27.02.2017 Interview with: Farzin Khosrow-Khavar, M.Sc. Ph.D. Candidate Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University Center for Clinical Epidemiology - Jewish General Hospital Montreal, QC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown an association between androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, these studies had methodological limitations that may account for this positive association. Using appropriate study design and methodology, we found no association between androgen deprivation therapy and risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) in patients with prostate cancer. These results were consistent by cumulative duration of  androgen deprivation therapy use and by ADT modality. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Orthopedics, Osteoporosis, Testosterone / 23.02.2017 Interview with: Tony M. Keaveny, Ph.D. Professor, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering; Co-Director, Berkeley BioMechanics Laboratory University of California Berkeley, CA 94720-1740 What is the background for this study? Response: As men age, they experience decreased serum testosterone concentrations, decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of fracture. While prior studies have been performed to determine the effect of testosterone treatment on bone in older men, for various reasons those studies have been inconclusive. The goal of this study was to overcome past limitations in study design and determine if testosterone treatment — versus a placebo — in older men with low testosterone would improve the bone. Specifically, we used 3D quantitative CT scanning to measure changes in BMD and engineering “finite element analysis” to measure changes in the estimated bone strength, both at the spine and hip. The study was performed on over 200 older men (> age 65) who had confirmed low levels of serum testosterone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Testosterone, UCLA / 23.02.2017 Interview with: Ronald S. Swerdloff, MD Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine and Director of a World Health Organization Collaborative Center in Reproduction a Mellon Foundation Center for Contraceptive Development and a NIH Contraceptive Clinical Trial Center Director of the Harbor-UCLA Reproductive Program LA BioMed Lead Researcher David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA Health What is the background for this study? Response: While we have long known that testosterone levels decrease as men age, very little was known about the effects of testosterone treatment in older men with low testosterone until last year. Our team of researchers from LA BioMed and 12 other medical centers in the U.S., in partnership with the National Institute on Aging, conducted a coordinated group of seven trials known as The Testosterone Trials (TTrials). We studied the effects of testosterone treatment for one year as compared to placebo for men 65 and older with low testosterone. The TTrials are now the largest trials to examine the efficacy of testosterone treatment in men 65 and older whose testosterone levels are low due seemingly to age alone. The first published research from the TTrials last year reported on some of the benefits to testosterone treatment. We have now published four additional studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and JAMA Internal Medicine that found additional benefits and one potential drawback. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Testosterone / 21.02.2017 Interview with: T. Craig Cheetham, PharmD, MS Southern California Permanente Medical Group Department of Research & Evaluation Pasadena, CA 91101 What is the background for this study? Response: Concerns have been raised about the cardiovascular safety of testosterone replacement therapy. Patient selection criteria may have been a factor in the findings from studies reporting an increased cardiovascular risk with testosterone replacement therapy. Many men who were receiving testosterone replacement therapy don’t fall into the categories of ‘frail elderly’ or ‘high cardiovascular risk’. We therefore studied testosterone replacement therapy in a population of androgen deficient men within Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Clots - Coagulation, Testosterone, Thromboembolism / 03.12.2016 Interview with: Dr. Carlos Martinez Institute for Epidemiology, Statistics and Informatics GmbH Frankfurt, Germany, What is the background for this study? Response: A 10-fold increase in testosterone prescriptions per capita in the United States and a 40-fold increase in Canada in men has occurred over the first decade of this century, mainly for sexual dysfunction and/or decreased energy. Recognised pathological disorders of the male reproductive system remain the sole unequivocal indication for testosterone treatment but there has been increasing use in men without pathological hypogonadism. A variety of studies and meta-analyses have provided conflicting evidence as to the magnitude of the risk of cardiovascular events including venous thromboembolism in men on testosterone treatment. In June 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada required a warning about the risk of venous thromboembolism to be displayed on all approved testosterone products. Studies have reported contradictory results on an association between testosterone use and the risk of venous thromboembolism. The effect of timing and duration of testosterone use on the risk of venous thromboembolism was not studied and may explain some of these contradictory findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Prostate, Prostate Cancer, Testosterone, Urology / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Dr. Jesse Ory Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of Testosterone Therapy (TT) in men diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer (CaP) has been highly controversial for several decades. Unfortunately, this controversy is largely founded on the results of a single patient in a study by Huggins and Hodges in the 1940s [1]. This wasn't challenged until recently, when Morgentaler reviewed the literature on the topic and found no scientific basis for the assumption that TT will act like fuel on the fire of prostate cancer [2]. He also proposed a mechanism, the "saturation hypothesis" that helps account for why TT may in fact be safe for men with prostate cancer. [3]. Over the past decade, retrospective evidence has been accumulating that supports the safety of Testosterone Therapy in hypogonadal men with CaP on Active Surveillance, or in those who have been definitively treated for prostate cancer.. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Endocrinology, Sexual Health, Testosterone / 01.07.2016 Interview with: Glenn Cunningham, MD Departments of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center Houston, Texas 77030 What is the background for this study? Response: The Testosterone Trials are a coordinated set of seven trials to determine the efficacy of testosterone in symptomatic men ≥65 years with unequivocally low testosterone levels. Previous studies in older men have been limited and the results have been conflicting. Initial results of the Sexual Function Trial showed that testosterone improved sexual activity, sexual desire and erectile function. (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate, Prostate Cancer, Testosterone, Urology / 14.05.2016 Interview with: Ryan Flannigan MD FRCSC PGY 5 Urology Resident Department of Urological Sciences University of British Columbia What is the background for this study? Dr. Flannigan: In the aging population the incidence of both prostate cancer and testosterone deficiency (TD) increase and even overlap in many patients. However, since Huggins’ original research in 1940, we have understood that prostate cancer is largely regulated by the androgen receptor (AR). Thus, the thought of treating someone with exogenous testosterone (T) was concerning for fear of further activation of the androgen receptor, and therefore promoting prostate cancer growth. However, further research has continued to add clarity to this complex interaction between androgens and the prostate. The saturation theory describes the observation that prostate specific antigen (PSA) responds to increasing serum testosterone levels only to a value of approximately 8.7nmol/L, with no inflation of PSA beyond these T levels. This is likely not the whole story when it comes to the interaction of T and the prostate, but it does suggest the prostate may not experience changes in cellular function with serum testosterone beyond low levels. It is also understood that prostate cancer requires AR activation to grow but is not caused by AR activation. Thus, we hypothesized that among those with un-treated prostate cancer, ie. patients on active surveillance, would not experience changes in biochemical recurrence (BCR) or changes in disease progression. In addition, we hypothesized that patients with previously treated prostate cancer would not have viable prostate cancer cells and thus, PSA would not increase. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Colon Cancer, Dermatology, Nature, Testosterone / 14.01.2016

More on Colon Cancer on Interview with: Dr. Nana Keum, PhD Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Keum: Male pattern baldness, the most common type of hair loss in men, is positively associated with androgens as well as IGF-1 and insulin, all of which are implicated in pathogenesis of colorectal neoplasia.  Therefore, it is biologically plausible that male pattern baldness, as a marker of underlying aberration in the regulation of the aforementioned hormones, may be associated with colorectal neoplasia.  In our study that examined the relationship between five male hair pattern at age 45 years (no-baldness, frontal-only-baldness, frontal-plus-mild-vertex-baldness, frontal-plus-moderate-vertex-baldness, and frontal-plus-severe-vertex-baldness) and the risk of colorectal adenoma and cancer, we found that frontal-only-baldness and frontal-plus-mild-vertex-baldness were associated with approximately 30% increased risk of colon cancer relative to no-baldness.  Frontal-only-baldness was also positively associated with colorectal adenoma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Surgical Research, Testosterone / 04.01.2016 Interview with: Quoc-Dien Trinh MD Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Williams Hospital  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Trinh: Among elderly Medicare beneficiaries with metastatic prostate cancer, surgical castration is associated with lower risks of any fractures, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiac-related complications compared to medical castration using GnRH agonists. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Journal Clinical Oncology, Prostate Cancer, Testosterone, University of Pennsylvania / 10.12.2015 Interview with: Kevin T. Nead, MD, MPhil Dept. of Radiation Oncology Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Nead: There are a growing number of studies suggesting that the use of  Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT)  may be associated with cognitive changes and some of these changes overlap with characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, low testosterone levels have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease risk and ADT lowers testosterone levels. Despite these findings, we could not identify any studies examining the association between ADT and Alzheimer’s disease risk. We therefore felt this study could make an important contribution in guiding future research to fully understand the relative risks and benefits of ADT. We examined electronic medical record data from Stanford University and Mt. Sinai hospitals to identify a cohort of 16,888 patients with prostate cancer. We found that men with prostate cancer who received Androgen Deprivation Therapy were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than men who did not receive  Androgen Deprivation Therapy. We also found that this risk increased with a longer duration of ADT. These results were consistent using multiple statistical approaches and separately at both Stanford and Mr. Sinai. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Testosterone / 27.09.2015

Anthony V. D'Amico, MD, PhD Chief, Division of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical Interview with: Anthony V. D'Amico, MD, PhD Chief, Division of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. D'Amico: Controversy exists as to whether androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) used to treat prostate cancer can cause fatal cardiac events. We found that in men with moderate to severe comorbidity based most often on a history of a heart attack that the use of 6 months of androgen deprivation therapy to treat non metastatic but clinically significant prostate cancer was associated with both an increased risk of a fatal heart attack and shortened survival. (more…)
Author Interviews, JCEM, Sexual Health, Testosterone / 11.07.2015

Darius A. Paduch, MD, PhDAssociate  Professor of Urology and Reproductive Medicine Director Sexual Health and Medicine Research Director of Male Infertility Fellowship Co-Director Male Infertility Genetics Laboratory Weill Cornell Medical College Dept of Urology New York, NY Interview with: Darius A. Paduch, MD, PhD Associate  Professor of Urology and Reproductive Medicine Director Sexual Health and Medicine Research Director of Male Infertility Fellowship Co-Director Male Infertility Genetics Laboratory Weill Cornell Medical College Dept of Urology New York, NY 10065 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Paduch: Ejaculatory dysfunction, inability to ejaculate or delayed ejaculation affects 10-8% of men. Inability to ejaculate either intravaginally or at all is independent of erectile function. Men with normal erection may take very long time to ejaculate (>30 min) or not able to ejaculate at all. The men in our study had either normal erections or minimal erectile dysfunction. Men of all ages have spontaneous erections but don't ejaculate just from erection, it is progression of arousal and activation of spinal cord motor generator for ejaculation which is necessary for ejaculation. One of important factors in our ability to ejaculate is testosterone (T), testosterone allows for normal function of CNS centers for ejaculation, it is a modulator and is necessary; preadolescent boys don't ejaculate because their spinal cord centers for ejaculations are not mature – process dependent on testosterone. However testosterone is just one of many neurotransmitters and hormones needed of normal ejaculation. Actually our study showed that in men who achieved normal levels of testostosterone the ejaculatory function have improved. As this was first double blinded and randomized clinical trial we had to report our results based on radomization to testosterone treatment or placebo. Unfortunately only 70-80% of men treated with topical testosterone preparation will achieve normal testosterone level , we simply didn’t reach statistical significance based on randomization and  considering relatively low number of patients in each group. But in men who achieved normal testosterone levels the difference was statistically significant. Testosterone should not be used to treat any conditions, including ejaculatory dysfunction, in absence of low testosterone  level. EjD is very common but it bares significant embarrassment stigma, it is difficult for the couple to bear fact that male partner can’t ejaculate, it also creates issues within couple and question about attraction and fidelity. We have previously showed that treatment with tadalafil improves ejaculatory and orgasmic dysfunction and these data has been published. This study was focused on effect of testosterone, but its main significance was it’s design: we developed new tools to assess ejaculatory function and learned a lot about when patients or their partners start to be bothered by EjD. If time to ejaclate takes > 30 min We are now looking into novel and available pharmacotherapy modulating dopaminergic and canabioid signaling and reward mechanisms. I am also very excited about our potential work in direct spinal cord motor generator nano stimulator, this could be very useful for men with spinal cord injuries and diabetic patients. We paved the road for others and I am sure new treatments are just a matter of time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Sexual Health, Testosterone / 03.07.2015

Michael S. Irwig MD Division of Endocrinology Medical Faculty Associates George Washington Interview with: Michael S. Irwig MD Division of Endocrinology Medical Faculty Associates George Washington University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many factors are associated with lower testosterone levels and many men who have their testosterone levels checked have non-specific depressive symptoms. The main finding is a remarkably high rate of depression and depressive symptoms (56%) in men who are referred for borderline testosterone levels. Other significant findings include a prevalence of overweight and obesity higher than the general population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Testosterone, Urology / 18.05.2015

Ranjith Ramasamy MD Assistant Professor of Urology University of Interview with: Ranjith Ramasamy MD Assistant Professor of Urology University of Miami Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Ramasamy: The association between testosterone supplementation therapy (TST) and thrombotic risk in elderly men remains controversial. We evaluated the prevalence of thrombotic events and all-cause mortality in men older than 65 years with hypogonadism treated with testosterone therapy. We compared men treated with testosterone to an age and comorbidity matched cohort of hypogonadal men not treated with testosterone supplementation therapy. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Ramasamy: No man who received testosterone supplementation therapy died, whereas 6 hypogonadal men who did not receive TST died (p=0.007). There were 4 thrombotic events (1 MI - myocardial infarction, 2 CVA/TIA - stroke, 1 PE - pulmonary embolism) in men who received testosterone supplementation therapy compared to 1 event (CVA/TIA) among men who did not receive TST (p = 0.8). All the events (except one death which took place at 6 months of follow–up) occurred 2 years or more after follow–up. Strengths of the study include long follow–up (>3 years), availability of serum testosterone levels before and after therapy and of a control group (hypogonadal men not treated with TST) for comparison. Limitations included retrospective study design, and a small sample size. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Testosterone, University of Michigan / 17.05.2015 Interview with: Jim Dupree, MD, MPH Assistant Professor Department of Urology, Division of Andrology University of Interview with: Jim Dupree, MD, MPH Assistant Professor Department of Urology, Division of Andrology University of Michigan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Dupree: There are increasing discussions in the United States about testosterone therapy and men with clinical hypogonadism (or low testosterone).  Yet, to date, there have not been any nationally-representative studies of the prevalence of low testosterone in the United States.  Using a validated national health examination program from the CDC, we found that the national prevalence of low testosterone (serum testosterone ≤ 300 ng/dL) in adult males in the US was 28.9%.  Among other factors, men who were older, had a higher body mass index (BMI), or had a larger waist circumference were at risk for having lower testosterone levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Endocrinology, Testosterone / 09.04.2015

Mohamed Kabbaj, PHD Professor of Biomedical Sciences & Neurosciences College of Medicine Florida State Interview with: Mohamed Kabbaj, PHD Professor of Biomedical Sciences & Neurosciences College of Medicine Florida State University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kabbaj: While anxiety and depressive disorders a major public health concern worldwide, so too are the pervasive sex differences that exist within these pathologies. Fluctuations in the predominant female reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone, are thought to be a major contributor to the higher prevalence of anxiety and depression in women compared to men. However, many studies in humans and rodents alike have demonstrated that testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, also influences affective status and may yield protective benefits against the development of mood-related disturbances. Indeed, hypogonadal males with low testosterone levels experience increased rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms. In many of these cases, testosterone replacement alone or in addition to antidepressant medication have been shown to effectively improve mood. How this hormone acts in the brain to exert its beneficial effects, however, is much less clear. Interestingly, it is well-known that many of testosterone’s effects in the brain occur via its conversion to estrogen by the enzyme aromatase. What remained unclear was whether or not this conversion to estrogen was critical for testosterone’s protective anxiolytic and antidepressant effects—so Nicole Carrier and Samantha Saland from Dr. Kabbaj’s lab aimed to figure out just that. To do this, Carrier and Saland targeted an area of the hippocampus in the brain involved in mood regulation where testosterone is known to act to carry out some of its anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in male rats. Here, they inhibited the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and investigated performance in mood-related behaviors. In doing so, they discovered that testosterone’s anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects were lost unless this hormone was first converted into estrogen. Importantly, they also found that continuous testosterone and estrogen treatments had very similar effects on the expression of genes within this brain region that are highly implicated in the regulation of mood as well as antidepressant treatments. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Mayo Clinic, Testosterone / 27.01.2015

Abraham Morgentaler, MD Director and Founder Men’s Health Interview with: Abraham Morgentaler, MD Director and Founder Men’s Health Boston Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been  tremendous media attention over the last 15 months to two retrospective studies that reported increased cardiovascular risks with testosterone. Those reports anchored a variety of stories critical of testosterone therapy for non-scientific reasons, such as alleged dangers of direct-to-consumer advertising.  In this review we investigated the two recent studies in depth, as well as the broader literature regarding testosterone and cardiovascular issues. One primary finding was that the studies alleging risk were remarkably weak and flawed- one reported low rates of MI and had no control group, and the other had such large data errors (nearly 10% of the all-male population turned out to be female!) that 29 medical societies have called for its retraction. In contrast, there is substantial literature suggesting that testosterone therapy, or naturally occurring higher levels of testosterone, is protective against atherosclerosis, and mortality.  Several small randomized controlled trials in men with known heart disease- angina and congestive heart failure- have even shown benefits for men that received testosterone compared with placebo. (more…)