Posts Tagged ‘AWS’


// October 29th, 2010 // No Comments » // Hormones

Our group has been involved in projects using DHT in gel form to treat two groups of men — those with a condition called AIDS wasting syndrome (AWS) and elderly men with low serum testosterone levels.

We have used DHT gel to reverse some of the ravages of AWS. Men with AWS suffer a progressive weight loss and become disabled and fatigued and are unable to do any meaningful work. In our short-term studies of men with AWS, we found the following.

Prior to treatment, all men with AWS had established a pattern of progressive and intractable weight loss. During only eight weeks of daily DHT treatment, these desperately ill men reclaimed their appetite, put on weight, and increased their strength. Treatment with DHT gel allowed them to reverse course: to eat more heartily and have a significant increase in their total body weight and capacity for physical work. Unlike other AWS treatments, where fluid retention or increased fat accounted for most of the weight gain, the DHT-gel-treated men’s weight gain was entirely due to buildup of increased muscle — lean body — mass.

We have been encouraged by our results in men with AWS and along with others are now evaluating DHT gel in elderly men with low testosterone levels.

You will undoubtedly hear more about DHT in the near future.


// October 29th, 2010 // No Comments » // Impotence

A below-normal serum testosterone level (hypogonadism) is the most common hormone abnormality found in men with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In some cases, this is the result of viruses or other microorganisms invading and disabling the testicle’s testosterone-producing capability. More often, the hypogonadism results from subnormal pituitary signals to the testicle, a condition referred to as secondary hypogonadism. Dr. Adrian Dobs of Johns Hopkins University Medical School was one of the first to note that men with AIDS experience many of the symptoms of hypogonadism. In one of her earlier studies in men with AIDS, she noted that 28 of 42 (67 percent) complained of decreased libido, and 14 Of 42 (33 percent) said they were impotent. In addition to the common symptoms immediately attributed to their hypogonadism, men infected with the AIDS virus often experience unexplained decline in weight and loss of muscle mass. This condition is referred to as the AIDS wasting syndrome (AWS) and, in addition to all the other problems AIDS patients have to cope with, AWS is a major cause of morbidity and premature death. We know that in men with spontaneous hypogonadism, loss of weight and muscle mass is common and that for these hypogonadal men, testosterone treatment helps restore weight and strength. Could testosterone treatment work as well in men with AWS?

Preliminary data from Drs. Judith and Richard Rabkin of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, suggest that providing supplemental testosterone or a testosterone analogue, like mesterolone, to men with AIDS who have low serum testosterone levels is beneficial, producing clear improvements in sexual interest, arousal, and overall sense of wellbeing. Some have even speculated that supplemental testosterone may also have a positive mood-elevating impact similar to that seen with traditional antidepressant therapy.

Men with AIDS were treated with a conventional dose of 100 mg of testosterone per week for eight weeks. They had a significant gain in weight and noted enhanced sexual interest and more energy, suggesting that this form of androgen supplementation is effective in alleviating many of the problems that men with AIDS find so troubling.

As more men with AIDS were subjected to detailed hormonal studies, it became apparent that not all, even those who were suffering from AWS, had below-normal testosterone levels. In June 1996, Dr. Richard Horton of the University of Southern California Medical School found that some men with AWS have normal testosterone levels but are unable to efficiently convert testosterone to a second male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). He speculated that it was the subnormal DHT levels that were most likely responsible for their inability to gain weight in AWS.