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Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology


NeuroendocrinologyİLetters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology,
ISSNİ0172ñ780X Copyrightİ©İ1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 NeuroendocrinologyİLetters

NEL VOL. 19 No. 3

1998; 19:111-115


Melatonin Treatment Stabilizes Chronobiologic and Cognitive Symptoms in Alzheimer’s Disease
by Luis I. Brusco, Miguel Márquez & Daniel P. Cardinali

Key words:
Alzheimer's disease; cognitive impairment; sleep disorders; aging; melatonin's antioxidant properties


A retrospective study on the efficacy of melatonin in treatment of sleep and cognitive disorders of Alzheimer's disease was conducted in 14 patients (8 females, 6 males), mean ± S.D. age 72 ± 9 years. All patients received 9 mg gelatin melatonin capsules p.o. daily at bed time for 22 to 35 months. Overall quality of sleep was assessed from sleep logs filled by the patients or their caretakers. Neuropsychological evaluation was performed by Functional Assessment Tool For Alzheimer's Disease (FAST), Mini-Mental, Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS), and Mattis' and Blessed's scales. At diagnosis, all patients had cognitive and neuroimaging alterations (cortical and bitemporal atrophy) compatible with different evolutionary stages of the disease. At the time of assessment, a significant improvement of sleep quality was found in all cases examined. There were no significant differences between initial and present evaluation in scores of FAST, Mini-Mental, and ADAS, and of Mattis' and Blessed's scales. Clinically, the patients exhibited lack of progression of the cognitive and behavioral signs of the disease during the time they received melatonin. Sundowning was not longer detectable in 12 patients and persisted attenuated in 2 patients. The results suggest that melatonin may be useful for treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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