Neuroendocrinology

We use fMRI techniques in order to study behavioral endocrinology and how it affects cognitive and brain aging. Previous studies conducted by Dr. Moffat have focused on investigating the effects of steroid hormones on spatial cognition, hemispheric asymmetry, and interhemispheric communication. Additionally, he has also studied the effects of stress and cortisol on brain structure and function in older adults. Future studies will examine the impact that glucose metabolism has on memory, thinking, and brain structure/function in non-diabetic older adults.


Neuroendocrinology of Cognitive and Brain Aging

1. Levels of hormones decline with age (e.g. Estrogen in women, testosterone in men)

2. Estrogen replacement therapy in post-menopausal women improves memory, delays onset of Alzheimer’s disease

3. Does testosterone have a similar neuroprotective effect?


Longitudinal studies of testosterone depletion in elderly men:

i. Followed 800 men for up to 30 years

ii. Measured testosterone, cognition, health, and disease status

Higher testosterone is associated with improved memory and cognitive performance 

hormone 1 hormone 2

Higher testosterone is also associated with increased resting regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the hippocampus of elderly men

rCBF 1 rCBF 2 rCBF 3