Effect of short-term androgen supplementation on cognitive performance in older male rhesus macaques.
Old male rhesus macaques often show cognitive impairment, and also have attenuated circulating levels of testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). However, it is unclear if these age-associated decreases in circulating androgen levels are casually related to mechanisms that support cognition. To test this possibility, old male rhesus macaques were given daily supplements of testosterone and DHEA for ∼7 months, using a paradigm designed to mimic the 24-hour circulating hormone patterns of young adults. Animals completed the Delayed Match-to-Sample (DMS) task to assess recognition, and the Delayed Response (DR) task to assess working memory. The animals all showed significant delay-dependent performance, with longer delays resulting in lower accuracy; and timepoint-dependent performance, showing improvement with the repeated opportunities for practice. However, there were no differences between the androgen supplemented animals and age-matched controls. These data indicate that the specific short-term supplementation paradigm employed here offers no obvious benefits for DMS or DR task performance.
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