Researchers found estradiol (form of estrogen) tended to be low in men with MS and correlated with disability. The researchers question whether men with MS might have a problem converting testosterone to estradiol.
They also found testosterone levels did not correlate with disability in men or women and that testosterone levels were increased in women (contrary to previous studies).
Serum Levels of Estradiol Correlate with Disability in Men with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Clara Pelfrey, Robert S. Butler, Anne Cotleur, Cleveland, OH
RESULTS: Testosterone levels were significantly elevated in women with MS compared to female controls (p = 0.0005). 17 β -estradiol levels strongly trended towards lower levels in male MS patients compared to male controls (p = 0.06). Estradiol was significantly positively correlated with testosterone levels in all subjects except the MS males…..Testosterone levels did not correlate with disability in males or females.
CONCLUSIONS/RELEVANCE: Estradiol levels appear decreased in males with MS, which strongly correlates with greater disease disability as measured by the MSFC. Unlike previous studies, we observed that testosterone levels were significantly increased in MS females and did not correlate with disability.
Our findings suggest interference in hormone metabolism in males with MS, perhaps relating to conversion of testosterone to estradiol. These data suggest that sex hormones contribute to the clinical response in MS patients and that hormones may play different roles depending on the sex of the patient.
I’m glad there’s continued research into hormones and MS. As Dom said some time ago, we all do have the same hormones. Men taking estrogen? In the realm of wild speculation, it seems like it’s at least conceivable.
And yes, I’m still for everyone, men and women, having normal hormone levels. In the very limited research that’s been done on the topic it seems like it’s the high and the low hormone levels, such as this one which found a low level of estradiol in men correlated with disability, that may impact people with MS. More research is definitely needed IMHO.