First, hypogonadism, usually pharmacologically induced, is associated with depressive symptoms and low libido,52,53 and androgen replacement is often associated with improvement in mood, energy, and libido54-56 in some but not all studies, although this literature is also inconsistent.57,58 Second, some but not all studies suggest an association between low testosterone levels and depressive symptoms.59,60
Last, supraphysiological doses of androgens Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical may be associated with manic or hypomanic symptoms in some individuals,61 and hypogonadism during withdrawal from long-term anabolic steroid use may be associated with depression.61 These observations have led to numerous studies examining the effect of androgens in the treatment of depression. Earlier, open-label studies suggested that androgens may be effective for treating depression, especially in men who are hypogonadal.62-65 Recently, there have been several studies using controlled designs where testosterone was used to treat depression in men who were Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical hypogonadal or had low normal Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical levels of testosterone. Testosterone
was administered as monotherapy or else as an adjunct to conventional antidepressants. These studies are summarized in Table VI The selleck Gefitinib findings from these studies are inconsistent, producing positive, negative, and inconclusive results.66-74 Some of these differences may be due to methodological issues as noted in Table VI although the weight of evidence would suggest that
testosterone may have some antidepressant benefits in hypogonadal men. Further study is required before definitely concluding that testosterone is a clinically useful treatment Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical for depression. The limited database and inconclusive findings in some studies have to be weighed against the known side effects of testosterone administration such as hypertension, gynecomastia, and polycythemia Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical as well as the fact that treatment emergent paranoid symptoms have been infrequently reported especially in earlier studies.62-65 The potential increased risk for prostate cancer with longterm testosterone treatment remains an unresolved issue.75,76 Table VI. Testosterone Entinostat treatment of depression Ovarian hormones The neuromodulatory effects of the ovarian steroids are well established.77-79 Substantial changes in estrogen levels can have effects on brain function and, therefore, on mood and cognition.79 The cyclic changes in gonadal steroids that occur with the menstrual cycle is one example of a period of vulnerability for psychiatric symptoms as a consequence of these fluctuations.80 It follows that depressive symptoms and depressive disorders occur at important stages of a women’s life at times when the selleck kinase inhibitor reproductive cycle is associated with changes in ovarian hormone levels, thus providing a rationale for the use of hormonal treatment for depression.