I think the information from these studies may be difficult to understand simply because the findings from the second abstract
aren’t all that clear. From my layperson’s perspective, the findings from that study are better described in news articles such as this one
Compared with healthy women, those with MS had lower levels of the male hormone testosterone
And those with the lowest testosterone levels also had the highest amount of inflammation in their brain tissue, expressed as the number of gadolinium enhancing lesions.
Women with MS and abnormally high testosterone levels also had greater levels of brain damage and a trend towards increased disability.
Among men, there were no differences in testosterone levels between those with MS and the healthy group.
But men with MS and the highest levels of the female hormone oestrogen also had the greatest degree of brain tissue damage.
In contrast to those MRI findings, the first study you posted correlated low levels of estradiol in men with disability levels so it’s perfectly understandable why you’d think the findings with respect to estrogen levels in men was contradictory.
But, exactly how contradictory they might be is open to question I think, especially if you consider three other factors:
1. Women with MS generally have more inflammation than men but less severe disease, so a finding of increased inflammation on MRI in men with high levels of estrogen may not correlate all that well with disease progression and disability, and
2. Lesions themselves do not correlate all that well with disability, and,
3. Estrogen displays significant neuroprotective properties in pre-clinical research.
I’d add, as Dom posted earlier in another thread, I find the correlation of low estrogen levels in men with disability a more significant finding than the MRI findings.
Last, just a note about “causality”, from the journal article
(which is freely available but you have to register with the journal) focused on MRI findings:
“determining whether increases in serum hormone levels reflected the brain’s compensatory repair mechanisms during injury or if these molecules actually contribute to the development of tissue damage was not possible,”
Now, I hope I haven’t confused things even further. The research on hormones and MS is just in its infancy and high and low levels of several hormones have been associated with a variety of disease measures, so one thing to consider is having your hormone levels tested to be certain that they’re within the normal range. As an aside, in the small testosterone trial, the men had low normal testosterone levels and their testosterone levels remained within the normal range even with the dosing that was used.
Take care. I’m so glad to see from another thread that you’re doing so well.