Endocrine factors, memory and perceptual capacities and aging in Asian men
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Background: This cross-sectional study examined the associations of hormones and age with short-term memory and perceptual capacity in 472 healthy Asian men. Methods: The symbol digit and digit span tests from the Swedish Performance Evaluation System were used to assess perceptual capacity and memory. Linear regression analyses with the stepwise method were carried out with the SPSS 21.0 package. Results: Age was associated with lower dehydorepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA/S), insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), thyroxine (T4), testosterone (T), bioavailable T (BioT) and error rate (Err) but higher glucose (GLU), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), estradiol (E2) and retention time (RT). High GLU was associated with higher error rate, longer RT of the perceptual capacity domain and shorter digit span (DSpan) of the short-term memory domain. Higher insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (BP3) was associated with longer DSpan. High cortisol (Cor) was associated with higher Err, while high DHEA/S was associated with shorter RT. All other hormones from the adrenal, somatotrophic and gonadal were not significantly associated with cognition. Conclusion: The findings suggest (1) a role for tighter control of blood glucose levels in cognitive decline with aging in men, (2) different hormones may be related to different parameters of cognition and “cognition” is not a unitary phenomenon and (3) further investigation of the potential for exogenous DHEA/S to slow cognitive decline in aging, especially as it relates to reaction time.
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