Finasteride Treatment Inhibits Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Male Mice

    May 2010 in “Pharmacopsychiatry
    B. Römer, Norbert Pfeiffer, Sabina Lewicka, N. Ben-Abdallah, Michael Vogt, Michael Deuschle, Barbara Vollmayr, Peter Gass
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    TLDR Finasteride reduces new brain cells in male mice, possibly causing depression.
    The study investigated the effect of finasteride, a drug used to treat hair loss, on adult hippocampal neurogenesis in male mice. The drug inhibits the production of neurosteroids, which are involved in neural plasticity and implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. The study found that subchronic treatment with finasteride led to a reversible reduction in the number of newborn cells and young neurons in the hippocampus, which might contribute to the pathophysiology of depressive episodes observed after finasteride treatment. The study suggests that inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase activity by finasteride treatment influences neuronal plasticity on a structural level.
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