The high androgen levels in women (mild to moderate AD) in low stress environments showed the altered metabolism of the androgens. The significant correlations between DHEA and cortisol, androstenedione and cortisol indicated that hormone production in the adrenal cortex of the kidneys were like that of younger people. In another study mentioned in this paper, associated high levels of cortisol and DHEA with cognitive dysfunction. There were higher chances of performing better with lower levels of DHEA. Later in the study, they had said that further investigation was required to assess the androgen and gonadal hormone metabolism as they had only reported increased basal androgen levels. In another study, they investigated the thyroid hormone levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF – present to keep the brain afloat and washout any toxins) and found a correlation to the AD severity in patients with normally functioning thyroids. Thyroid hormone (TH) helps in metabolism in the brain and hence can be found in the CSF. There are several forms of TH – they are usually numbered as T2, T3, T4etc. They used something called lumbar puncture to extract spinal fluid from people (sounds pretty painful!). They used highly specific techniques called mass spectrometry and high performance liquid chromatography to assess the CSF containing thyroid hormones. They had about 35 patients (9 males and 26 females, approximately 66 years). The CSF TH concentrations were representative of the blood TH concentration. The AD patients were diagnosed through CT scans, neuropsychological tests, MRI and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). The control group had 10 subjects with normal cognitive abilities and normal MMSE. They had undergone lumbar puncture due complains of severe headaches. Exclusion criteria included thyroid problems, abnormalities of CSF routine analysis or any proof that the barrier between their blood vessels and brain was damaged by in depth analysis of the CSF.
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