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Anabolic Steroids

The Brain's Response to Anabolic Steroids

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Hi, my name's Sara Bellum. Welcome to my magazine series exploring the brain's response to drugs. In this issue, we'll investigate the fascinating facts about anabolic steroids.

Anabolic steroids are artificial versions of a hormone that's in all of us—testosterone. (That's right, testosterone is in girls as well as guys.) Testosterone not only brings out male sexual traits, it also causes muscles to grow.

Some people take anabolic steroid pills or injections to try to build muscle faster. ("Anabolic" means growing or building.)

But these steroids also have other effects. They can cause changes in the brain and body that increase risks for illness and they may affect moods.