The scientific side of steroid use and abuseTom Heffernan does not anabolic steroids and effects on the brain for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. Although much is known about the physical and why my testosterone is low effects of anabolic steroid abuse, very little is known about their putative impact upon learning and memory. In a new study published in The Open Psychiatry Journalwe wanted to sterroids out if users reported any difference from using Anabolic-androgenic steroids, or AAS. Our findings suggest that the drug can affect recollection in long-term users.
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Leslie Henderson is concerned about steroid abuse, not necessarily by sports luminaries like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, but rather by adolescents. She is also the senior associate dean for faculty affairs at Geisel. Henderson reports that websites targeting steroid users often acknowledge that steroids can affect your body -- that's why they are taken -- or they can make you aggressive.
However, they do not say anything about changing the way your brain works. The drugs of concern are anabolic-androgenic steroids AAS , which are synthetic derivatives of testosterone, originally designed to provide enhanced anabolic tissue-building potency with negligible androgenic masculinizing effects, according to Henderson and her long-time Dartmouth collaborator Ann Clark, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
In addition to the danger implicit in high dosages is the range of uncontrolled variability in the composition of these illicit synthetics. These changes are reflected in manifestations of anxiety, as seen in Henderson's laboratory experiments.
However, little regard is given to these potential dangers when the primary objective is a competitive edge in athletic pursuits. Compounding these caveats are the implications of abuse at an early age. Studies have shown there are "critical periods" -- periods of time during adolescence when exposure to steroids can impose permanent changes in both brain organization and function, leading to physiological and psychiatric effects that may still be prevalent even in middle age.
The age at which you take them also affects their persistence. From studies using rodents as an animal model, other investigators have also found that, "if you take steroids as an adolescent, those effects are much longer lasting in terms of their negative effects on behavior, especially aggression, than if you take them as an adult," Henderson comments.
In her laboratory work, Henderson has looked at three major behavioral systems typically associated with steroid abuse -- reproduction, aggression in males, and anxiety in both sexes. When Henderson says "we" in reference to her research, she means the "royal we.
In fact the past couple years we've had probably our best and most high-profile publications," says Henderson. As if she were not busy enough, Henderson is committed to active outreach -- bringing science to the public. Materials provided by Dartmouth College. Original written by Joseph Blumberg. Content may be edited for style and length.
Postdoctoral Research Associate Joseph Oberlander and Professor Leslie Henderson examine patterns of electrical activity action potentials recorded from brains of mice exposed to anabolic androgenic steroids.
Chronic steroid exposure changes patterns of activity in regions of the brain that are critical for the expression of anxiety. ScienceDaily, 6 August The scientific side of steroid use and abuse. Retrieved April 19, from www. This is the main conclusion of a new study on elite male strength athletes. Twenty per cent of the Below are relevant articles that may interest you.
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