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The effects of supraphysiological doses of testosterone on angry behavior in healthy eugonadal men--a clinical research center study.
Tricker R, Casaburi R, Storer TW, Clevenger B, Berman N, Shirazi A, Bhasin S.
Anecdotal reports of "roid rage" and violent crimes by androgenic steroid users have brought attention to the relationship between anabolic steroid use and angry outbursts. However, testosterone effects on human aggression remain controversial. Previous studies have been criticized because of the low androgen doses, lack of placebo control or blinding, and inclusion of competitive athletes and those with preexisting psychopathology. To overcome these pitfalls, we used a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, excluded competitive athletes and those with psychiatric disorders, and used 600 mg testosterone enanthate (TE)/week. Forty-three eugonadal men, 19-40 yr, were randomized to 1 of 4 groups: Group I, placebo, no exercise; Group II, TE, no exercise; Group III, placebo, exercise; Group IV, TE plus exercise. Exercise consisted of thrice weekly strength training sessions. The Multi-Dimensional Anger Inventory (MAI), which includes 5 different dimensions of anger (inward anger, outward anger, anger arousal, hostile outlook, and anger eliciting situations), and a Mood Inventory (MI), which includes items related to mood and behavior, were administered to subjects before, during, and after the 10 week intervention. The subject's significant other (spouse, live-in partner, or parent) also answered the same questions about the subject's mood and behavior (Observer Mood Inventory, OMI). No differences were observed between exercising and nonexercising and between placebo and TE treated subjects for any of the 5 subdomains of MAI. Overall there were no significant changes in MI or OMI during the treatment period in any group. Conclusion: Supraphysiological doses of testosterone, when administered to normal men in a controlled setting, do not increase angry behavior. These data do not exclude the possibility that still higher doses of multiple steroids might provoke angry behavior in men with preexisting psychopathology.
Exogenous testosterone, aggression, and mood in eugonadal and hypogonadal men.
O'Connor DB, Archer J, Hair WM, Wu FC.
To investigate (1) the effects of exogenous testosterone (T) on self- and partner-reported aggression and mood and (2) the role of trait impulsivity in the T-aggression relationship. Thirty eugonadal men with partners were randomized into two treatment groups to receive: (1) 200 mg im T enanthate weekly for 8 weeks or (2) 200 mg im sodium chloride weekly for 8 weeks. Eight hypogonadal men received 200 mg im T enanthate biweekly for 8 weeks. All groups completed a battery of behavior measures at baseline (Week 0) and at Weeks 4 and 8. Cognitive and motor impulsivity were the only predictors of self-reported total aggression (over and above age and T levels) at Weeks 0, 4, and 8. No significant changes in aggression or mood levels were found in the eugonadal-treated group. Significant reductions in negative mood (tension, anger, and fatigue) followed by an increase in vigor were found in response to T treatment in the hypogonadal group. These results demonstrate that inability to control one's behavior when such control is required by a particular situation (impulsivity) was found to significantly predict levels of aggression over and above age and T level. These data do not support the hypothesis that supraphysiological levels of T (within this range) lead to an increase in self- and partner-reported aggression or mood disturbances. Instead, for the first time, this study has identified the high level of negative affect experienced by hypogonadal patients. These findings have implications for T replacement therapy and male contraception.