While researching saturated steroids and their effects on the brain, I noticed a number of highly promosing studies demonstrating benefit of such steroid for a variety of neurodegenerative conditions such as MS, ALS, Alzheimer, Parkinson, etc. Ray has written extensively on the topic of progesterone and its protective role in the brain, including therapeutic effects for a number of these conditions. There are a few large human clinical trials going on right now using progesterone to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially in soldiers and athletes. Successful humans trials have also been conducted with progesterone for Alzheimer disease, dementia, stroke, depression, and even cancer.
A number of studies have shown that the degree of saturation of a steroid directly correspond to its beneficial effects in brain and actually all other tissues. So, I did some research on progesterone and its saturated metabolite 5α-DHP, and as it turns out this steroid may have promise for all of the above mention conditions. It is apparently known in research circles to treat animal models of MS, and human studies have shown the dramatic decline of saturated steroids like DHT and 5α-DHP in the CSF of MS patients as well as patients with other neurological conditions. The studies below give some background on the beneficial effects of 5α-DHP for these conditions.
1. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other demyelination diseases
5a-Pregnane-3,20-dione | CAS 566-65-4
"...5a-Pregnane-3,20-dione exerts neuroprotective effects in chronic autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The neuroactivity of the steroid acts as a therapeutic agent for multiple sclerosis."
Neuroactive steroid levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of male multiple sclerosis patients. - PubMed - NCBI
Neuroprotective effects of progesterone in chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. - PubMed - NCBI
Progesterone derivatives are able to influence peripheral myelin protein 22 and P0 gene expression: possible mechanisms of action. - PubMed - NCBI
The action of steroid hormones on peripheral myelin proteins: a possible new tool for the rebuilding of myelin? - PubMed - NCBI
Neuroactive steroids and peripheral myelin proteins. - PubMed - NCBI
Progesterone and its derivatives dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone reduce myelin fiber morphological abnormalities and myelin fiber lo... - PubMed - NCBI
Effects of neuroactive steroids on myelin of peripheral nervous system. - PubMed - NCBI
Neuroactive steroids influence peripheral myelination: a promising opportunity for preventing or treating age-dependent dysfunctions of peripheral ... - PubMed - NCBI
Actions of progesterone and its 5alpha-reduced metabolites on the major proteins of the myelin of the peripheral nervous system. - PubMed - NCBI
2. Diabetic neuropathy
Progesterone and its derivatives are neuroprotective agents in experimental diabetic neuropathy: a multimodal analysis. - PubMed - NCBI
3. Alzheimer Disease (AD)
4. Traumatic nerve injury
5. Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
6. Miscellaneous brain protection