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Main Point—FIB, CE. The correct answer choice is (E)
This stimulus provides facts in the first two sentences, and then asks you to complete the third
sentence. The facts relate to the effect of testosterone on brain cells. Apparently, testosterone protects
brain cells from injury, while also reducing the levels of the protein beta-amyloid in the brain. This
information suggests a link between testosterone and Alzheimer’s disease, because beta-amyloid
causally contributes to Alzheimer’s disease, and people whose brain cells are susceptible to injury
are probably more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.
The question stem identifies this as a Main Point—Fill in the Blank question. Looking back to the
stimulus, the conservative beginning to the conclusion, “so there is reason to think that...,” telegraphs
that the conclusion will be fairly weak, rather than being definitive. Our prephrase is that the facts in
the stimulus connect testosterone levels to Alzheimer’s disease, in that people who lack testosterone
will be at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease, because they will be more prone to brain injury, and
will have higher beta-amyloid levels.
Answer choice (A): The stimulus told us that those whose brain cells are susceptible to injury are
probably more susceptible to Alzheimer’s. This answer choice exaggerates that risk by stating
definitively that if a person’s brain cells are susceptible to injury then they will develop Alzheimer’s
Answer choice (B): We know from the stimulus that beta-amyloid contributes to Alzheimer’s
disease. This answer choice goes too far by treating beta-amyloid levels as the sole cause of
Answer choice (C): The facts established that low testosterone levels can create a greater risk for
Alzheimer’s disease. This answer choice reverses that relationship, by saying Alzheimer’s disease
causes a reduction in testosterone levels.
Answer choice (D): The stimulus told us that increased susceptibility to brain injury is a risk factor
for Alzheimer’s disease. This answer choice both reverses that relationship and exaggerates it, saying
that Alzheimer’s disease is necessary for being at risk for brain cell injury.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice, because a decrease in the testosterone
level decreases the protection of brain cells from injury, which probably increases susceptibility to
Alzheimer’s disease. Also, the reduction in testosterone could impede the reduction of the protein
beta-amyloid, a causal contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.