Memory and DHEA

Studies suggest that the administration of DHEA can improve memory as well as neuronal plasticity.

DHEA has been shown in laboratory studies to improve cognitive functions, such as memory. An abnormal imbalance in the brain between DHEA-S and cortisol has also been shown to cause a decline in brain function.

Clinical studies

  • In a medical school study, 31 elderly people with severe memory loss took DHEA orally daily for 3 months. No side effects were observed and, compared with those who took a placebo, the group who received DHEA obtained better results in memory and intellectual tests.

  • A 1990 medical report reports a 47-year-old woman who had a 20-year history of memory and learning disorders, refractory to all treatment, and low DHEA-S levels (177 ). She showed an improvement in verbal memory, visual recognition, as well as a normalization of cerebral electrophysiology (EGG and P300) following the intake of DHEA at doses ranging from 12.5mg / kg to 37mg / kg for 2 years.

  • In contrast to the non-beneficial effects of DHEA on memory in older people, a randomized study in the UK showed that taking DHEA (150 mg twice daily) improved immediate memory in young and older men. healthy. This study also shows that DHEA improves subjective mood and lowers cortisol levels at the end of the day, a substance known to be elevated in cases of depression. The effect of DHEA on memory appears to be related to initial activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and has been suggested to be due to neuronal uptake of steroid-responsive CCA, which may be involved in the pre-hippocampal process of memory.

  • Effect of DHEA on recognition, decision-making and discrimination memory in postmenopausal women. An 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, in which 30 women (aged 39-70) were given 50 mg of DHEA orally daily for 8 weeks, demonstrated that patients were more conservative (e.g. less likely to designate mental test subjects as “old”) in their decisions related to recognition memory and memory discrimination with respect to briefly presented test subjects. In the case of recognition memory, this result may reflect an empirical irregularity in which strong and recent memory experiences make participants more conservative. In that of memory discrimination, this result may reflect the effect of DHEA on visual perception with consequences on memory. These results suggest the methodological importance of focusing on decision-making processes when examining the effects of hormones on memory.