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.

"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 July 29, 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 July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. 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:
from the past week

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