A daily testosterone spray may help ward off dementia and memory loss in post-menopausal women, says a new Victorian research.
The pilot study, run by Monash University's Women's Health Program, has been described as "an exciting new lead" by head researcher Susan Davis.
"This is a new frontier. We were quite surprised by the results. It's cutting edge, a bit off the wall and provocative, but the results are as promising as they could be at this stage," she said.
The research by Professor Davis and Dr Sonia Davison will be presented this week at the North American Menopause Society's annual conference in San Diego, reports The Age.
To reach the conclusion, researchers gave ten healthy post-menopausal women aged 45 to 60 a daily skin spray of testosterone for six months.
At the beginning and end of the treatment they had "functional MRI" brain scans while doing a computer-based test of their memory and visual and verbal skills.
The scans showed that in each case, their brains performed the test much more effortlessly after six months.
"With testosterone treatment, less of the brain areas involved with these tasks 'lit up'," Professor Davis said.
"This indicates that less brain activation was required for the women to complete the tasks," she added.