Steroid hormones, namely anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), are a synthetic version of the sex hormone testosterone. They are used as a medical treatment for hormone imbalance. But their most popular purpose is to enhance athletic performance or to build muscle mass and strength. The downside of AAS is that they have many side effects, from acne to increased aggression and heart problems. A recent Norwegian study added another very significant side effect, namely accelerated brain aging. This means that using AAS causes your brain to age prematurely with a negative impact on quality of life in older age and an increased risk of brain diseases.
Why does it happen? Steroid hormones easily enter the brain and bind to receptors for sex hormones thoughout the brain. Because AAS are coming at much higher doses than those naturally produced in the body, they could have a harmful impact on the brain, particularly over a long period of use.
To come to this conclusion the researchers used MRI of the brains of 130 male weightlifters with a history of prolonged AAS use and of 99 weightlifters who had never used AAS. They also compiled the data from 1.838 healthy males (18 to 92 years old) and used it to predict brain age for each participant.
So, (young) men, before taking a decision to use anabolic steroids for performance enhancement, please keep in mind all adverse effects on your brain health later in life, and take the right decision!
Curious? HERE is the source