Melatonin May Play a Role in Seasonal MS Relapses

This article originally appeared here.
Share this content:
Melatonin May Play a Role in Seasonal MS Relapses
Melatonin May Play a Role in Seasonal MS Relapses

THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of melatonin are linked to a lower incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses during the darker months of fall and winter, new research suggests. The study is published in the Sept. 10 issue of Cell.

Francisco Quintana, Ph.D., a researcher from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues studied a group of 139 patients with relapsing-remitting MS. The authors found that participants experienced a 32 percent reduction in relapses during fall and winter compared to spring and summer.

The researchers also gave daily injections of melatonin to mice with an autoimmune disease mimicking several key features of MS. The melatonin improved symptoms in the mice and reduced levels of specific T cells (Th17 cells), restoring a healthy balance of T cells in the brain, spinal cord, and organs involved in immune response, the researchers said.

The new research suggests a stronger basis for melatonin's role in controlling seasonal MS flare-ups compared to vitamin D, Quintana told HealthDay. Vitamin D is thought to help cut the frequency of MS flare-ups in spring and summer -- when natural melatonin levels are lower -- due to its anti-inflammatory effects. But "it looks that melatonin has the better association," Quintana added. "The two of them [melatonin and vitamin D] contribute to control disease activity, but specifically with regards to seasonal changes, melatonin plays a stronger role than vitamin D in MS."

The study was supported in part by grants from pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract
Full Text

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »

Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

Trending Activities

All Professions



Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


More in Home

CDC: No Change in Level of Uninsured in U.S. in 2017

CDC: No Change in Level of Uninsured in ...

Five percent of children uninsured in 2017, 41.3 and 55.0 percent had public and private coverage

Age-Related Racial Disparity Examined in Childhood Suicide

Age-Related Racial Disparity Examined in Childhood Suicide

Significantly higher incidence of suicide for black children aged 5 to 12; lower rate for black teens

Moral Distress for Docs Providing Emergency-Only Hemodialysis

Moral Distress for Docs Providing Emergency-Only Hemodialysis

Docs describe burnout and emotional exhaustion; moral distress at seeing suffering and injustice

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »