Dehydroepiandrosterone, Its Sulfate and Cognitive Functions

Karina Junqueira de Menezes1, Clayton Peixoto1, Antonio Egidio Nardi1, Mauro Giovanni Carta2, Sérgio Machado1, André Barciela Veras3, *
1 Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry, UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Brazil
2 Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
3 Dom Bosco Catholic University (UCDB), Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry, UFRJ, Brazil

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© de Menezes et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Dom Bosco Catholic University (UCDB), Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry, UFRJ, Brazil; E-mail:


To present a review of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that investigate the relationship between the hormones Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and cognition. Methods: The cognition items included in this review were global cognitive function, memory, attention, executive function, intelligence, perception and visuospatial ability. A systematic review was proceeded using three databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and PsycINFO. Results: Two thousand fifty five references about cognition and hormones were found; 772 duplicated references were excluded, resulting in 1.283 references to be evaluated. According to exclusion and inclusion criteria, 25 references were selected. A positive correlation between DHEA-S blood levels and global cognition was found in women and men. Other positive correlations between DHEA-S and working memory, attention and verbal fluency were found only in women. The DHEA effect on cognition is limited to one study conducted among young men with high-doses.

Keywords: Attention, Cognition, Dehydroepiandrosterone, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Executive Function, Memory, Neuropsychology.