Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Melatonin Supplementaion may help Alzheimer’s disease over time

Melatonin Supplementation Studies

In recent years, the landmark studies showed that patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who were administered melatonin had significantly less progression to Alzheimer’s disease over time than MCI patients who were not taking melatonin supplements. In these studies, the dosage range was 3-9 mg, taken one hour before bedtime. In addition, two other preliminary studies showed improved cognitive performance in MCI patients using melatonin dosages as low as 1 mg and as high as 6 mg.

This research is particularly compelling when you consider the fact that melatonin levels begin to decline during our teenage years, and by age 40 have reached a low enough level to often trigger sleep disturbance problems. The pineal gland in the brain normally secretes melatonin in the late-evening hours (darkness is a trigger), which helps to induce sleep. As such, lower age-related melatonin levels in the brain are a major cause of insomnia and interrupted sleep as we get older.

Many people take melatonin as a natural sleep aid because it helps them fall asleep. However, melatonin is also a powerful brain antioxidant, and its ability to quench free radicals in this role and suppress the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque are the ways in which it has been shown in experimental studies to inhibit the steps that lead to Alzheimer’s disease. The recent clinical trials showing that melatonin helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk patients is of great significance when you consider that MCI affects a large percentage of the population over 60 years of age.

July 6, 2012 - Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , ,

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