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DHEA and Mood

Low mood and depression are among the most common psychological symptoms associated with old age. There is increasing evidence that age-related DHEA deficiency is strongly linked with depression, [340-341] suggesting that DHEA replacement therapy can be beneficial in improving depressive symptoms as well as quality of life. Results from various human studies assessing the beneficial effects of DHEA on mood show that this hormone can help maintain a positive outlook, energy and motivation:
1. In older men and women (40-70 years), DHEA administration at 50 mg daily improves energy levels and ability to handle stress. [342]
2. In patients with depression that is mild or resistant to conventional therapy, DHEA supplementation improves depressive symptoms. [343]
3. In middle-aged and elderly patients with major depression and low DHEA levels, treatment with DHEA at 30-90 mg daily for 6 months significantly improves depression ratings and memory performance while increasing DHEA levels. [344]
4. In men, DHEA administration reduces activity in brain regions associated with generation of negative emotion, thereby improving mood. [345]
5. In patients with major depressive disorder, DHEA administration is associated with significant reduction in depressive symptoms. [346-348]
6. In men, DHEA administration increases activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region in the brain involved with emotion formation. [349]
7. DHEA also modulates dopamine and serotonin release in the brain, both of which play a key role in emotion regulation and episodic memory. [350]
8. In patients with anxiety disorder, DHEA administration improves the function of the amygdala, a brain region that plays a key role in the processing of emotions. [351]
9. In patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), DHEA administration is positively associated with adaptive responses to stress and symptom improvement and coping. [352-353]
10. In depressed and nondepressed men and women, DHEA administration has mood-elevating effects. [354-357]
11. In women with adrenal insufficiency (lack of steroid hormones, primarily cortisol), DHEA significantly improves overall well-being as well as scores for depression and anxiety. [358-360]
12. In patients with depression, low-dose topical DHEA treatment improves subjective measures of fatigue, depression, and vitality. [361]

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- Nick Cassavetes, 60 yrs old

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