The male menopause and mood: testosterone decline and depression in the aging male--is there a link?
Margolese HC
Department of Psychiatry,
McGill University,
Montreal, Quebec.
J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol 2000 Summer; 13(2):93-101


The objective of this study was to review the literature on the hormonal changes that occur in aging males in order to determine if testosterone declines in relation to depressed mood and if testosterone might prove useful in treatment of depression. Pertinent articles were identified through a MEDLINE search from 1966 to 1999 and by careful review of the bibliographies of articles most relevant to the topic. There is a moderate decline of total testosterone and more significant decline of bioavailable testosterone in aging males. Elderly males who are depressed appear to have the lowest testosterone levels. In eugonadal males, testosterone replacement does not have a significant effect on mood; in hypogonadal males, some studies show an effect whereas others do not. In several small studies of depressed hypogonadal males, testosterone was effective in alleviating depression. Major side effects of testosterone include increased hematocrit and potential effects on the prostate and lipid metabolism. Testosterone replacement as primary or adjuvant treatment of depression may prove useful in elderly, hypogonadal males who fail to respond to conventional antidepressants. Further studies are needed to confirm these initial impressions.

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