Sudden Drop in Testosterone? Maybe Parkinson's

As if men didn't have enough to worry about, now a new study links sudden declines in testosterone to Parkinson's disease symptoms, and possibly, the disease itself.

According to newswise.com, you can relax.  It's only happening in mice.  “While scientists use different toxins and a number of complex genetic approaches to model Parkinson’s disease in mice, we have found that the sudden drop in the levels of testosterone following castration is sufficient to cause persistent Parkinson’s like pathology and symptoms in male mice,” Dr. Kalipada Pahan, lead author of the study and the Floyd A. Davis endowed professor of neurology at Rush, was quoted by the Web site.

Still, since men's testosterone levels are "coupled" with many diseases, according to Pahan, it makes sense to look further when levels drop suddenly.  Drops in testosterone levels due to stress or other drastic events in a man's life can predispose him to Parkinson's-like symptoms, Pahan added in the article.

The preservation of a man's testosterone may be very important in shielding him from Parkinson's, the researchers now believe.

Signs of Parkinson's include resting tremor on one side of the body; generalized slowness of movement; stiffness of limbs and gait or balance problems. The cause of the disease is unknown but experts believe it is both environmentally and genetically caused.

Parkinson's disease affects about 1.2 million patients in the United States and Canada. Although 15 percent of patients are diagnosed before age 50, it is generally considered a disease that targets older adults, affecting one of every 100 persons over the age of 60. This disease appears to be slightly more common in men than women.

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