Potential neurodegenerative effect of anabolic androgenic steroid abuse

Sergio Scaccianoce, A. Caruso, J. Miele, R. Nisticò, F. Nicoletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs) are synthetic androgen-like compounds which are abused in sport communities despite their side effects. AAS abuse has been coupled with several medical complications, such as sterility, gynecomastia, and increased risk of cardiovascular and hepatic diseases. More recently, it has been observed that non-medical use of these steroids is frequently associated with changes in mood as well as cognitive deficits. Although the nature of this association is still largely unexplored, recent animal studies have shown the neurodegenerative potential of these compounds ranging from neurotrophin unbalance to increased neuronal susceptibility to apoptotic stimuli. Hence, exposure to AASs may result in a compromised brain, more susceptible, later in life, to the onset or progression of diseases not usually linked to drug abuse, especially neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number2 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Anabolic androgenic steroids
  • Drug of abuse
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Neurodegenerative diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research


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