Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controversial Performance Enhancer "Andro" Affects Brains As Well As Brawn, Say Umass Researchers

Date:
July 12, 1999
Source:
University Of Massachusetts
Summary:
Athletes taking the controversial performance enhancer known as "andro" may be affecting their moods as well as their muscles, suggests a study published by University of Massachusetts researchers in the July issue of the journal Endocrinology.

AMHERST, Mass. -- Athletes taking the controversial performance enhancer known as "andro" may be affecting their moods as well as their muscles, suggests a study published by University of Massachusetts researchers in the July issue of the journal Endocrinology. The study was conducted by doctoral students Constanza Villalba and Catherine Auger under the direction of professor Geert de Vries. Auger is now a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University. Although the study was conducted on rats, the implications for humans are important, according to the scientists.

Related Articles


"Andro," or androstenedione, is a steroid; a hormone that is produced in the body by males and females. It is sometimes sold as an over-the-counter nutritional supplement. Andro garnered attention last year when St. Louis Cardinals star hitter Mark McGwire acknowledged using it to help him train. Since then, scientists, doctors, and ethicists have been working to understand the effects of andro on the body. But while many researchers have been concentrating on how andro affects muscles and athletic performance, the UMass group of scientists has focused on what andro does to the brain. The study was conducted through the University's Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, the Neuroscience and Behavior Program, and the department of psychology.

"Steroids like andro and its more potent counterpart, testosterone, affect more than just muscle mass and home-run ability," said Villalba. "They can also affect the brain by changing the levels of neurotransmitters and consequently stimulating libido and aggression." Steroids, she explains, are critically important hormones produced in the body, in both males and females. While steroids are responsible for puberty, they also have a role in growth, behaviors, and brain development.

"Humans taking andro could potentially be susceptible to steroid-induced rage, or increased aggression as a result of the extra source of hormone," said Villalba.

Specifically, researchers studied andro's effect on a neurotransmitter called vasopressin. Vasopressin plays several roles in the brain: it governs thirst, wake-sleep cycles, and "the focus of the research" aggression. The scientists determined that, like testosterone, andro enables males to maintain high levels of vasopressin. This held true even in rats that lacked the ability to make their own male hormones.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Massachusetts. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Massachusetts. "Controversial Performance Enhancer "Andro" Affects Brains As Well As Brawn, Say Umass Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990712080314.htm>.
University Of Massachusetts. (1999, July 12). Controversial Performance Enhancer "Andro" Affects Brains As Well As Brawn, Say Umass Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990712080314.htm
University Of Massachusetts. "Controversial Performance Enhancer "Andro" Affects Brains As Well As Brawn, Say Umass Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990712080314.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Alzheimer’s Hope

Alzheimer’s Hope

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) A new drug, BCI-838 offers new hope to halt and possibly reverse the damage of Alzheimer’s disease. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins