After clinical data started circulating in the bodybuilding community showing that Trenbolone administration caused beta amyloid plaque accumulation in rat brains, more and more attention has been given to the potential neurodegenerative effects it may have in humans, and how Trenbolone may cause the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Without even delving into the clinical data, most will agree that Trenbolone blatantly exhibits some worrisome effects on cognitive health.
If you've used it, I'm sure you can attest to the fact that no other steroid is on par when it comes to the effects it seems to have on the mind.
The fact is, it is one of the most volatile steroids for cognitive health and mental state.
Some guys can't even use it because it gives them such bad mental side effects.
The Effect Trenbolone Has On Your Mind
Trenbolone is jokingly (but also fairly accurately) called the “relationship destroyer” drug.
Aggression and volatility of your mood can occur with any androgen, and the degree to which this happens is largely dependent on the androgenicity of the steroid in question.
If you have an aggressive personality, increasing your body's androgen load is going to exacerbate that.
Trenbolone in particular though seems to have a bit of a different effect that is not found with any other compound.
Some guys feel great, but many feel extremely anxious, paranoid, have volatile mood swings, and are much more easily agitated when compared to how they feel using other anabolic-androgenic steroids.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the rats that had Trenbolone administered to them in the clinical studies experienced significant neurodegeneration.
The Trenbolone Dosage Protocol In Humans Via Negma Laboratories (Parabolan)
The dose is the poison when it comes to steroids, and Trenbolone is no different.
The first thing to take into consideration when it comes to the neurodegenerative impact Trenbolone has on humans is the dosage deployed for bodybuilding purposes.
Trenbolone has no place in a first cycle, nor does it have a place in any cycle except for a couple token scenarios in my opinion.
Pharmaceutical grade Trenbolone used to be produced for human use by Negma Laboratories under the brand name Parabolan, but there were no published human trials.
It was pulled from the market in 1997 and is no longer approved for human use.
The Trenbolone dosage used in a clinical setting for humans was purportedly three 76 mg Parabolan ampules per month.
This equates to approximately 50 mg of active hormone per ampule after cleaving off the ester.
This had a front load period of three Parabolan ampules over the first 15 days, followed by a maintenance phase of one Parabolan ampule every 10 days thereafter.
- 114 mg Trenbolone Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate (75 mg active hormone) per week for the first two weeks
- 76 mg Trenbolone Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate (50 mg active hormone) per 10 days thereafter
IFBB Pro bodybuilders in the 90's had success with Trenbolone following similar dosage protocols.
Does that mean that those dosages were safe?
No, not at all.
But, there is a dose dependent increase in risk with this compound, and the dosages unnecessarily being used nowadays are insane to say the least.
Based on the clinical data, we can see a dose dependent accumulation of beta amyloid plaque in the brains of the rodents administered Trenbolone, which more than likely has significant crossover into humans.
Trenbolone Contributes To Neurodegeneration
The study that drew the most attention to Trenbolone's effect on neurodegeneration is titled: “17β-trenbolone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid as well as an environmental hormone, contributes to neurodegeneration [R].”
This part of the study is the most notable: “Trenbolone accumulated in adult rat brain, especially in the hippocampus and in the fetus brain, it altered amyloid-beta-42 accumulation. Trenbolone induced apoptosis of primary hippocampus neurons in vitro and resisted neuroprotective function of testosterone.”
Apoptosis is cell death.
Trenbolone not only caused cell death of neurons in the brain, but it caused amyloid-beta-42 to accumulate in a dose dependent manner.
Trenbolone Causes Beta Amyloid Plaque Accumulation
The male rats given Trenbolone injections had amyloid-beta-42 (also referred to as beta amyloid) accumulate in their brains.
Alzheimer's disease is believed to be caused by the accumulation of the beta amyloid peptide.
While there has been no human trial to assess if this occurs in humans, and there probably is never going to be, I think it is best to assume the worst when we see data like this.
As I already touched on, I do not think it is a coincidence that guys get very strange mental side effects from Tren that they don't get with other compounds.
Beta amyloid plaque build up doesn't just occur with Trenbolone use obviously, and our body does have internal mechanisms in place to clean the brain of it each day.
Healthy individuals clear beta amyloid out of the brain during deep sleep via glymphatic drainage.
Basically, beta amyloid builds up and then the brain cleans it up during deep sleep.
If sleep quality and/or duration is impaired, expectedly, drainage via the glymphatic system is impaired too, and beta amyloid plaque then starts to accumulate over time, which can eventually cause Alzheimer's disease and a myriad of other neurodegenerative outcomes.
This is why so many neurodegenerative diseases have been linked to poor sleep quality.
If you don't have enough “brain cleaning” occurring each night because of poor sleep, you will eventually pay the toll in some way with impaired cognitive function.
While this is a rodent model, if you're injecting something that has shown to increase the literal compound in your brain proven to be the root of Alzheimer's disease in a dose dependent manner, you can surmise that this probably isn't the best compound to be using on a consistent basis.
Should You Ever Use Trenbolone Based On The Neurotoxicity Data?
Remember, the dose is the poison with any drug.
While Trenbolone isn't safe and will be more neurotoxic and cardiotoxic the higher the dosage deployed, you can't argue with the fact that it is an amazing drug for body composition.
I believe Trenbolone has a place in a competitive bodybuilder's toolbox pre-contest.
Trenbolone has shown to be more protein sparing than other steroids, and is why it shines so much in a calorie deficit during a contest prep phase [R].
When it comes to protein accretion though (muscle building), Trenbolone does not outperform other compounds that have significant amounts of human-based safety, efficacy and tolerability data for us to reference.
There are other hormones just as effective at building lean muscle mass, without as much potential risk associated with screwing up your brain.
Considering this, the only time short-term use of Trenbolone makes sense is during the last couple months of a contest prep.
There are a lot of guys using Trenbolone during every single cycle, which is overkill.
Although purely anecdotal, I've personally seen guys who cruise on Tren year round progressively act more and more “off” each time I saw them.
Its almost like you can just tell there is a screw loose that wasn't loose before with guys who abuse Tren.
Using Trenbolone short-term pre-contest is a calculated risk, and I would advise limiting its use, or avoiding it entirely if you can.
The Vicious Circle Of Deep Sleep, Beta Amyloid Plaque And Alzheimer's Progression
Dr. Matthew Walker is a scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California.
His research focuses on the impact of sleep on human health and disease.
In the following clip he describes the role that sleep plays in modulating the accumulation of amyloid-beta accumulation in the brain.
I highly recommend that you watch the entire thing, or read through the transcription I wrote out below, as it elucidates exactly how sleep impacts cognitive health and neurodegenerative outcomes, and also provides insight into exactly how Trenbolone abuse will likely encourage the progression of Alzheimer's disease and neurodegeneration.
At the end of the article I tie together Matthew Walker's points outlined in the clip and relate it back to how it applies to Trenbolone use, as well as how to track metrics that will help you assess your cognitive health and sleep quality.
“Of those electrical deep brain waves of deep sleep.
It seems as though they come from all over the brain.
But the principal epicenter that generates your deep sleep sits right there in the middle part of the prefrontal cortex.
It is exactly the same part of the brain that accumulates toxic beta amyloid protein.
Then, we've done studies, and other people have done studies before us, that have demonstrated as we age, our sleep gets worse.
But not just any type of sleep, especially that deep quality of sleep that we know and we spoke about is critical for saving, learning, and retaining new memories.
All of these jigsaw pieces started to get put together.
In my head, I thought we need to do some studies.
Is it possible that the amount of amyloid that you have in the brain in this sleep-generating center, it should directly predict the deficit in the amount of deep sleep that you get?
If it predicts the deficit in the amount of deep sleep, it should predict the deficit in your ability to hold on and retain new memories, which is a hallmark cognitive feature of Alzheimer's disease: difficulty learning, difficulty retaining.
We did the study, and that's exactly what we found: the more beta amyloid that builds up in this central frontal part of the brain, the less the deep sleep that you have; the less amyloid-related deep sleep that you had, the more forgetful you were the next day, rather than the more that you remembered.
This was the first part of the Alzheimer's sleep equation, which is that Alzheimer's disease attacks the deep sleep-generating regions, and you have a diminution of deep sleep, which, in turn, blunts your learning and memory abilities, and you become more forgetful.
A far more important discovery was made by another group, far more important than the one we made, which was essentially the reverse direction.
Which was to say, rather than amyloid sort of decreasing sleep, could sleep actually decrease the amount of amyloid that you get.
This was a discovery that was made in rats back in 2009.
I believe it was the first evidence that was published in science.
This is a colleague, Dr. Neta Garden, who is out on the East Coast at University of Rochester.
She made two wonderful discoveries.
The first, was that we've known for a long time the body has a waste sewage system called the lymphatic system.
But the brain doesn't have its own lymphatic system: the lymphatic system does not penetrate the brain.
Where does all of the garbage, the metabolic garbage, go that your brain cells produce?
Where's the sewage system for the brain?
She discovered it.
It's actually made up of a set of cells called glial cells, which are the supporting brain cells.
So, she called it the “glymphatic system” rather than the lymphatic system.
Your brain does have a sewage system: this glymphatic system.
That's the discovery that she made.
Then, and I'm not quite sure what motivated her to do this, she started to measure how efficient that lymphatic waste system was.
When the rats were awake and when the rats were asleep?
What she found was that it's during deep sleep, that these brain cells actually shrink by almost 60%.
When we sleep, blows my mind, it's almost like all of the buildings in New York all of a sudden shrink, and it leaves these much greater large areas for the cleaning crews to come in and clean up all of the metabolic detritus of the city's activity during the day.
That's exactly what happens during sleep.
The cleaning solution is what we call cerebrospinal fluid.
Through a pulsatile mechanism during sleep, you get a 10 to 20% increase in the bathing of cerebrospinal fluid through the brain, which washes away all of the metabolic byproducts that have been building up.
One of those metabolic byproducts is beta amyloid.
In fact, if you deprive those rats of that deep sleep, you immediately get an increase in toxic beta amyloid.
Now, we've linked these terms, right?
It's a long story.
But if you're not getting enough deep sleep at night, you're not giving yourself the chance for the kind of good “night-and-sleep clean process” to remove the beta amyloid, so more beta amyloid builds up.
Where does it build up?
Tragically, in the very same regions of the brain that generate the deep sleep that you need to clear out the toxic amyloid.
So, you start getting less deep sleep, so you get more toxic protein; more toxic protein, less deep sleep, less deep sleep.
It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It's a nonlinear exponential curve.
If you look at how amyloid builds up in the brain, and if you look at the trajectory of Alzheimer's disease, it is a nonlinear exponential curve.
It fits exactly what the sleep-dependent model of amyloid-clearance would predict, if you're not getting sufficient sleep.
That's the reason why now insufficient sleep seems to be one of the most significant lifestyle factors determining that.
Now, you could say, by the way, those studies were in rats, and you deprive them of sleep for one night, what about humans, like, surely?
Well, the study is now being done.
Great study done out of “Wash U” by a team of scientists, led by David Holtzman.
They took a group of humans and they did this very clever method where they deprive them of deep sleep, but they didn't deprive them of sleep.
You think that sounds paradoxical.
I can play you these auditory tones.
Now, this is not like the memory reactivation word that you play a tone and then you leave the brain alone for a while.
Here, I'm just going to keep playing tones to your brain, really sort of annoying tones.
I can play them at a level that doesn't wake you up, but it lifts you out of deep sleep and keeps you in shallow sleep.
What's delightful about this method is that I can selectively excise one type of sleep, deep sleep, but I don't wake you up.
There's no stress of awakening.
You are asleep for the same amount of time, but the quality of sleep is decreased.
Can street noise do that?
We don't know.
Although, I will come back to that when we speak about, hopefully sleep, appetite regulation, sleep glucose regulation, and sleep in low socio-economic.
I think it's possible there's other factors that link poor sleep in low SES socioeconomic backgrounds.
Is noise pollution one of them?
I actually think it is.
Untested, as yet.
But what they did with these human participants, they selectively removed deep sleep while keeping them asleep.
Total sleep time has not changed.
Then, in the morning, they woke them up, they rolled them over, and they did a spinal cord puncture, lumbar puncture, and they measured the cerebral spinal fluid that was percolating within the spinal cord which also goes around the brain.
You can measure the amount of beta amyloid, which is a reflection of perhaps how much amyloid is there within the brain.
After one night of essentially a loss of deep sleep, you saw an immediate rise in the amount of beta amyloid.
It is a causal manipulation, that insufficient sleep in rodents and in humans, will lead to a rise in beta amyloid.
I think it was like 25 to 30%.
Trensomnia And How Trenbolone Can Potentially Cause Alzheimer's Disease
As Matthew outlined in the clip above, the area of the brain that beta amyloid plaque builds up in is the same area of the brain responsible for getting into the stage of deep sleep required for cleaning beta amyloid out of your brain.
What I found most interesting about this is the fact that in humans, one of the main side effects of Tren most commonly reported that is unique to that compound is something called “Trensomnia.”
Trensomnia is the insomnia and poor quality sleep that many get when using Trenbolone.
Trenbolone is notorious for ruining sleep quality, and that is just one of the attributes of Trenbolone that make it unique from other steroids.
I think that in itself makes it pretty clear what mechanism is likely occurring with Trenbolone use not just in rodents, but in humans as well.
Trenbolone use inhibits deep sleep severely, which in turn results in impaired beta amyloid clean up via the glymphatic system, consequently increasing the amount of beta amyloid plaque accumulation in the brain, which ultimately results in neurodegeneration.
The more beta amyloid that builds up, the worse the quality of sleep becomes, and the worse the quality of sleep becomes, the more beta amyloid plaque will accumulate.
This is the vicious circle Trenbolone can have on the brain, at least in theory.
Is Trenbolone going to cause Alzheimer's disease?
I don't know.
But it seems pretty damn convincing that Trenbolone abuse will at least result in some level of neurodegeneration based on this correlation here, as well as what we see all the time anecdotally in humans who abuse this compound.
If you've used Trenbolone before, you can likely personally attest to how significant of an impact it has on your sleep quality.
Imagine what Trenbolone is doing to the brains of men using it year round.
Are you ever actually getting enough deep sleep to clean up beta amyloid accumulated in the brain when you're on Trenbolone?
If you're abusing Trenbolone you are probably more likely to get cardiovascular disease before you get full blown Alzheimer's, but that does not mean that you should abuse it based on the fact that neurodegeneration is a slow and long-term process.
How To Track Your Sleep Quality
A very interesting experiment would be to assess Oura ring metrics before and during Trenbolone use.
I use an Oura ring every single night to track my sleep metrics.
The Oura ring will give you metrics as accurate as you're going to get without literally going in and getting an elaborate and expensive sleep study done with medical-grade equipment.
The ring will estimate with a fairly high level of accuracy how much sleep you're getting per night, your REM sleep, deep sleep, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, among several other useful metrics.
If you're an anabolic steroid user and you have established average baseline metrics of your sleep quality with the Oura ring and then you introduce Trenbolone into your protocol and suddenly your metrics show that your deep sleep has been severely impaired, I believe that would be more than convincing for me to make an assertion that Trenbolone will dramatically increase your chance of getting Alzheimer's disease.