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We know the significance of gender-affirming care for trans men and nonbinary folks and what hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can do for the heart and mind. Self-esteem and confidence are bolstered during the process of transition, and identity finally comes into alignment. However, there is little known about the long-term effects that high-dose testosterone hormone treatment has on brain health and cognition.

Previous research has shown that different hormones do in fact affect brain function and optimal productivity; however, the majority of the research on hormone therapy has been limited to the differences between cis males and cis females. That is why the new MyT Brain study is different than any other before.

MyT Brain is conducting a new research study focusing on transmasculine individuals and wants to connect with anyone who has not yet started HRT. The study will observe folks both not taking high-dose testosterone treatment alongside trans individuals who are just beginning their HRT journey.

“Testosterone is a very important therapy for gender affirmation, but we don’t know a lot about how this hormone affects the brain in individuals using its masculinizing effects. This study is part of our overall goal to provide individuals with options that both support their gender and maintain optimal brain health in the short- and long-term,” said Dr. C. Neill Epperson, MD.

By measuring cognitive performance and brain activity in both individuals who are undergoing HRT and those who are not, they will have a better understanding of how gender-affirming hormone therapy affects the brain. Ultimately, their aim is to promote informed treatment for patients with the most current research and in the safest ways possible.

Dr. Epperson is leading the research team at MyT Brain and is an internationally renowned researcher in the fields of sex and gender. Dr. Andrew Novick MD PhD, who has a specific interest in ensuring optimal treatment for transgender individuals, will be working directly under Dr. Epperson to oversee the study.

The team at Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora know that not all FTM trans people are seeking HRT; therefore, they are enrolling individuals assigned female at birth who identify anywhere on the transmasculine spectrum and have not yet started any type of hormone therapy.

Anyone interested in participating simply has to attend one in-person screening visit and two test day visits which will include an MRI scan of the brain and baseline memory and attention tests on a computer. Time will be compensated with a $25 Target gift card for the screening visit and $75 gift cards for each test visit.

For more information, call (303) 724-1808 or email mytbrain@ucdenver.edu. Take their short, confidential eligibility survey at http://j.mp/2ClCOFV.