If the nerves running to muscles are cut, rendering the muscle inactive, the muscle cells start to breakdown. It's called atrophy. Administering the anabolic steroid nandrolone [structural formula shown below] cannot prevent this from happening, researchers at the Peters VA Medical Center in New York discovered, but it can help to slow down the rate of atrophy.
It could be an accident, a knife-wielding idiot or a disease that causes damage to the nerves running from your brain to your muscle. The technical name for this is innervation. The researchers devised an experiment to find out whether administering an anabolic steroid could prevent muscle tissue atrophy when a nerve was severed.
The researchers cut through the nerves going to the hind legs of their test animals [Den]. They performed a similar operation in a control group, but did not sever the nerves [Sh].
Then some of the experimental animals were given an implant that pumped nandrolone [Nandrolone]. The dose corresponded to the doses recommended in medical handbooks for humans. For nandrolone this is 50-200 mg/week. Another group of test animals was not given nandrolone [Vehicle].
During the first 14 days after the intervention it made no difference whether the rats received nandrolone or not. The muscle mass in the hind leg of all the animals atrophied. But after a month there was a difference: the rats that had been given nandrolone lost their muscle mass at a slower rate.