Ian—thanks for what I think is an excellent presentation on estriol (form of estrogen) and testosterone.
What's the risk? Disability?
From the link
you posted earlier on the testosterone trial the positive outcomes
(improved cognitive functioning, significant decrease in brain atrophy and increased levels of BDNF) were achieved within the normal range of testosterone levels.
Testosterone levels were in the lower range of normal before treatment, and although they increased with treatment, remained in the normal range.
I would think maintaining your testosterone level within the normal range should be relatively safe (i.e., low risk) if your personal health history doesn’t include any contra-indications, i.e., history of prostate cancer, etc.
Also the likelihood that you or anyone with MS (male or female) actually has a low testosterone level is relatively high compared to the general population. Don't forget this thread
where Marcstck posted an abstract from the AAN, Decreased Serum Testosterone Levels in Multiple Sclerosis.
RESULTS: Thirty-nine of 68 females (57%) and 14 of 32 males (44%) had decreased serum testosterone levels. These testosterone levels are much lower than the values seen in a normal population where only 5% would be expected to have decreased levels. A significant correlation of testosterone levels with change in EDSS was not shown in our patients. However, in male patients with ongoing disease progression, 60% had low testosterone levels suggesting a trend towards increased disease activity with lowered hormone levels. Similarly, in females with normal testosterone levels only 33% showed evidence of disease progression in the preceeding year, whereas 54% with low testosterone levels had active disease.
Even though they didn't find a statistically significant correlation for men or women between low testosterone levels and disease progression, there was something of a "trend" perhaps suggesting low testosterone levels were associated with progression in some people.
I would think a “normal testosterone level” could be a relatively safe option for you to consider, again, absent contraindications. It’s my basic impression the normal range for hormone levels (any hormone) are pretty wide. I’d hope though that you or anyone else considering this first have their testosterone level checked. If your level is already in the high normal or high range, it may not be necessary or even advisable to supplement with testosterone gel. My testosterone level was in the normal range; it’s the only one that was. I plan to keep it there too.
The slide "Estrogen is Neuroprotective"
made me grin. It was wonderful to finally see an MS researcher put it out there.
Thank you Ian. Take care.