The Role of Testosterone

How PTSD affects levels of Testosterone in Men

Nearly 80% of men with TBI or PTSD suffer from low testosterone. Medical researchers have proven that testosterone replacement therapy can improve brain function, concentration, and general well-being, reducing the life-altering strain these brain injuries have on men.

Testosterone 

and Depression

Testosterone plays a critical role in how the brain uses neurotransmitters to fight off mental illness. In men with depression, testosterone can increase dopamine release in the mesolimbic system (the reward pathway), which may protect against the inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia) caused by depression. 

Testosterone

and Anxiety

Chronic stress causes alterations in brain function, leading to anxiety and depressive disorders affecting the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. When men suffer from low testosterone, the brain minds the gap with cortisol, leading to elevated heart rate and high blood pressure. 

How Testosterone Therapy May Help

In a study at the University of Washington, researchers measured pituitary function in veterans with and without blast-related TBI. Results found that 11 of 26 (42%) with blast-related injuries had hormone imbalances, while the control group did not show hormone imbalance.  Testosterone replacement therapy helps return testosterone levels to optimal ranges, promoting healthy brain activity from neurophysiology, sexuality, and psychology to aging, leading to an improved quality of life. 

How TBI and PTSD May Affect Sex Drive

50% Experience Low Sex Drive

More than 50% of people who experience a traumatic brain injury suffer from low sex drive. Eagers subside through physical or mental disabilities such as depression or anxiety. This is driven by the pituitary gland not allowing the necessary hormones to release correctly

40-60% Experience Erectile Dysfunction

40 to 60% of men experience temporary or permanent erectile dysfunction, (ED) post TBI.

40% Experience Difficulty Reaching Orgasm

Roughly 40% of people have difficulty reaching orgasm. Men's sex drive and sexual performance begin inside the cerebral cortex and limbic system. When men suffer from low testosterone, there is an apparent disconnect between the pituitary gland, testicles, and these areas. The endocrine axis is out of whack.

How the Brain Uses Testosterone

Testosterone plays a crucial role in the brain, from organizational to bodily activation effects. Testosterone helps keep the brain's psychophysiology (mental process) running smoothly. Testosterone is strongly dependent on cognitive, emotional, and biobehavioral functions. Researchers have repeatedly confirmed that as men age, testosterone naturally decreases, hindering the brain's normal functions. 

TBI, PTSD and Veterans

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Department of Defense, Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are frequently comorbid in veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

The Department of Defense (DOD) defines the following levels of severity (Defense Health Agency, 2019): 

Mild

TBI

_
Loss of consciousness for up to 30 minutes; or confused or disoriented state lasting less than 24 hours; or memory loss lasting less than 24 hours. Excludes penetrating TBI. If obtained, computed tomography (CT) scan results are normal.

Moderate

TBI

_
Loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes, but less than 24 hours; or confused or disoriented state lasting more than 24 hours; or memory loss lasting more than 24 hours but less than 7 days; or meets criteria for concussion/mild TBI but with an abnormal CT.

Severe

TBI

_
Loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours; or confused or disoriented state lasting more than 24 hours; or memory loss lasting more than seven days. Excludes penetrating TBI. A structural brain imaging study may be normal but usually is abnormal.

Penetrating

TBI

_
Open head injury; scalp, skull, and dura mater (outer layer of meninges) are penetrated. Caused by high-velocity projectiles, objects of lower velocity such as knives, or bone fragments from a skull fracture that is driven into the brain
_

Find the Plan That's Right for You

_

Ready to Get Started?