Androgen deprivation impairs memory in older men

Joseph R. Bussiere, Tomasz M. Beer, Michelle B. Neiss, Jeri S. Janowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Androgen deprivation leads to a profound loss of synaptic density in the hippocampus and changes in learning and memory in animal models. The authors examined group differences in verbal memory between men on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), a commonly used treatment for prostate cancer, and healthy men. The authors found that men on ADT have a specific impairment of retention but normal encoding and retrieval processes on a word list-learning task. Speed and accuracy for both perceptual and semantic encoding, as well as retrieval at a very short retention interval, were not affected; however, recognition fell to chance after a 2-min retention interval in men on ADT. Healthy men showed only moderate forgetting, and performance was still above chance at 12 min. This pattern of preserved encoding and retrieval but impaired retention suggests that androgens play a role in hippocampally mediated memory processes, possibly having a specific affect on consolidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1437
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Androgen
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory consolidation
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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