BACKGROUND: Sleep disruption and fatigue are common in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Melatonin is one of the major regulators of sleep-wake cycle. The role of melatonin in MS-related sleep disturbances and fatigue as well as the interaction between melatonin and Interferon beta (IFN-β) treatment were the subject of this study.
OBJECTIVE:To assess the influence of IFN-β treatment on melatonin secretion, fatigue and sleep characteristics in patients with MS.
METHODS:13 MS patients and 12 healthy controls participated. Fatigue was evaluated using the Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS), sleep was assessed by actigraphy and day/night levels of 6-sulphatoxy-melatonin (6-SMT) in urine were determined using a highly specific ELISA assay.
RESULTS: Naïve MS patients demonstrated significantly decreased levels of melatonin and disrupted circadian (daily cycles) regulation of its secretion, which were increased with IFN-β therapay, in association with improved fatigue. Sleep Efficiency was significantly lower in the MS group compared to controls.
CONCLUSION:Our findings suggest dysregulation of Melatonin secretion in MS, which may be influenced by IFN-β treatment. The results call for further characterization of the role of neuro-hormones such as melatonin in MS, and their cross-regulation with immune-mediators.
We are well aware that MSers can have pretty disrupted sleep patterns, and there is some evidence that Sativex can improve this, and so it is perhaps not surprising that melatonin levels may be low in MSers. That it may change in response to treatment may also be not that surprising because if your disease is controlled you will sleep better. Melatonin is a nutriceutical in the USA, but is not readily available in health food shops in the UK. It can be used to trick the brain to make you think that you’ve had some sleep and avoid Jet Lag….Wonder if G uses it?
No point in drinking tart cherry juice (contains melatonin-like chemicals) according to Channel 4 Food Hospital as it doesn’t help you sleep..Warm MilK?
Some neuros think that Melatonin may do more and as I know you like to hear about natural products, you may be interested to know that there is a trial on the action of melatonin on MS occuring.