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During the late 1970s, doctors who performed studies on mesterolone concluded that the drug could be used to treat depression in some men. Patients with symptoms of anxiety and low sex drive reported improvement with low doses of the steroid. During the study, higher doses proved helpful to patients with dysthymia and bipolar depression as well. Since this time, newer studies have shown that patients taking a placebo improved at the same rate as patients taking mesterolone, leading medical professionals to believe that better drug options exist.
Neural injections of Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) were applied to males of both groups to test for neurogenesis . Analysis showed that testosterone and dihydrotestosterone regulated adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN). Adult hippocampal neurogenesis was regulated through the androgen receptor in the wild-type male rats, but not in the TMF male rats. To further test the role of activated androgen receptors on AHN, flutamide , an antiandrogen drug that competes with testosterone and dihydrotestosterone for androgen receptors , and dihydrotestosterone were administered to normal male rats. Dihydrotestosterone increased the number of BrdU cells, while flutamide inhibited these cells.