Researchers are now debating whether sex hormones could be responsible for some of the problems experienced by people with multiple sclerosis.
After measuring levels of five different sex hormones in men and women with MS researchers compared them to those found in healthy people. All the MS patients also underwent brain scans to measure for inflammation and brain damage characteristic of the disease.
Results showed women with MS were significantly more likely than the healthy women in the study to have especially low levels of the male hormone testosterone. Brain scans showed these women also had the highest amounts of brain inflammation. Women with especially high levels of the hormone also seemed to suffer adverse effects. Bran scans showed they had greater amounts of brain damage and were also more likely to have increased disability compared to women with more normal levels of testosterone.
Among the men with MS in the study, greater brain damage was linked to higher levels of the female hormone estrogen. Other hormones measured in the study included follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, but these hormones did not seem to impact the MS patients or the healthy controls.
Thus in conclusion researchers say their findings suggest that testosterone and estrogen both play a role in modulating the development of brain tissue damage in MS, however they suggest that further study be done for further clarification .
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