Background: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex. Recent research reports show that DHEA has various beneficial effects including neuro protective effects and that the decline in its production with aging may contribute to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration, and thus cognitive decline.Aim: To assess the cognitive functions and estimate the levels of DHEA in subjects of the same age group. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional comparative study of sixty healthy male participants between 60 to 70 years of age was done. They did not have other medical disorders likely to affect cognitive function. Their performance in the principal domains of cognition, i.e. memory, attention and concentration, verbal fluency, language and visuospatial functioning was observed. Serum levels of DHEA were estimated for all the participants by ELISA method. Results: A significant positive correlation was observed between DHEA level and three domains of cognition viz., visuospatial skills (r = 0.95), verbal fluency (r = 0.49) and short term memory (r = 0.28). No association was found with other domains of cognition. Conclusion: Subjects with low levels of serum DHEA among the same age group showed a significant decline in visuospatial skills, short term memory and verbal fluency.
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