Spatial Ability in Androgen-Deficient Men


Several Lines of Previous Evidence Have Suggested that Androgens Affect Cognitive Abilities. in an Effort to Characterize This Defect, We Compared 19 Men with Idiopathic Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism with 19 Control Men and with Five Men with Acquired Hypergonadotropic Hypogonadism that Had Developed after Puberberty. the 19 Patients with Idiopathic Hypogonadism Had Markedly Impaired Spatial Ability in Comparison to Either Controls or Subjects with Acquired Hypogonadism (P<0.05). Moreover, the Spatial Ability of the Patients Correlated Positively with their Testicular Volume (P<0.05). Androgen-Replacement Therapy in Six of the Patients Did Not Improve their Spatial Ability. the Impairment in Spatial Ability in Men with the Idiopathic Form of Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism, the Lack of Such an Impairment in Men with the Acquired Form, and the Failure of Exogenous Androgens to Correct the Deficits in the Idiopathic Form Suggest that Androgens Exert a Permanent Organizing Influence on the Brain Before or at Puberty in Boys. (N Engl J Med. 1982; 306:1202–5.) the Mammalian Brain Possesses Both Neuronal Receptors for the Gonadal Steroids and Enzymes Suitable for their Metabolism.1,2 Although the Gonadal Steroids Have Been Shown to Alter Brain Structure in the Regions Relevent to Sexual Behavior,3 4 5 the Influence of These Steroids on Other Brain Regions Remains Uncertain. Similarly, Although Gonadal Steroids Have Been Shown to Influence Reproductive Behavior, their Influence on Human Cognitive Behavior Remains Largely Conjectural.6 There Are Several Reasons to Suspect that the Gonadal Steroids May Influence Certain Cognitive Skills: First of All, There Are Striking Sex Differences in the Prevalence of a Variety of Developmental Language Disorders, Including. © 1982, Massachusetts Medical Society. All Rights Reserved.




National Center for Research Resources, Grant M01RR001066

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1533-4406; 0028-4793

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2023 Massachusetts Medical Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

20 May 1982

PubMed ID