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Multiple Sclerosis - What Role Does Testosterone Play in Multiple Sclerosis?

I find this article interesting for a few reasons:

  • I have always had high testosterone for a woman which is apparently due to my Poly Cystic Ovary (or ovarian) Syndrome (PCOS) and likely accounts for my adult acne and hairy chin.

  • My MS symptoms have always been worse during my periods, except when I was on a progesterone-only pill and/or since I have had my progesterone infused Mirena coil and my endometrial ablation. Not all doctors see the correlation but I definitely do with respect to my own hormones and MS.

  • Oestrogen-containing ("estrogen" in the US) pills always turned me into the psycho-bitch-from-hell (my words) and made the MS (undiagnosed in those days) symptoms even worse.

  • There was something else that I was going to say but I have misplaced that record in my memory. Damned MonSter.


Suffice to say that I am not at all surprised that the sex (and other) hormones affect MS, a neurological condition. It is all biochemistry and, despite my BSc Biochemistry being a little out of date (1989) and a lot rusty and un-practiced/un-used, I know that we STILL do not completely understand how the brain / spinal cord / CNS work and how our biochemicals, hormones, food and other environmental chemicals might affect them. How then an we know what foods that we invent are safe or dangerous to us?



ETA: I have been telling the doctors my thoughts about MS and sex hormones for years now, only to be mostly ignored and all-but laughed at until I was finally allowed my ablation. I have just found this:

Tomassini V, Onesti E, Mainero C, et al. "Sex hormones modulate brain damage in multiple sclerosis: MRI evidence." J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 2005;76:272–275.
Conclusions: The hormone related modulation of pathological changes supports the hypothesis that sex hormones play a role in the inflammation, damage, and repair mechanisms typical of MS.

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Nat S Ford
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