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Influence of melatonin on fatigue severity in subjects with repetitive or continuing fatigue and late melatonin secretion

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By Heukelom RO, Prins JB, Smits MG, Bleijenberg G. • www.ProHealth.com • January 13, 2006


Eur J Neurol. 2006 Jan;13(1):55-60.
Heukelom RO, Prins JB, Smits MG, Bleijenberg G.
Department of Neurology, Sleep-Wake Disorders and Chronobiology, Hospital De Gelderse Vallei, Ede, The Netherlands.

The effect of melatonin, a chronobiotic pro-hormone, was explored in 29 subjects with repetitive or continuing fatigue and Dim Light Melatonin Onset (DLMO) later than 21.30 hours, reflective of delayed circadian rhythmicity.

The subjects took 5 mg of melatonin orally, 5 h before DLMO during 3 months. Their responses to the checklist individual strength (CIS), a reliable questionnaire measuring the severity of personally experienced fatigue, were assessed twice with a 6-week interval immediately before the treatment and once after 3 months treatment.

In the pre-treatment period the fatigue sub-score improved significantly. After treatment, the total CIS score and the sub-scores for fatigue, concentration, motivation and activity improved significantly. The sub-score fatigue normalized in two of the 29 subjects in the pre-treatment period and in eight of 27 subjects during treatment. This change was significant.

In the subjects with DLMO later than 22.00 hours (n = 21) the total CIS score and the sub-scores for fatigue, concentration and activity improved significantly more than in the subjects (n = 8) with DLMO earlier than 22.00 hours. Melatonin supplementation may be an effective nutritional support for individuals with repetitive or continuing fatigue and late DLMO, especially in those with DLMO later than 22.00 hours.

PMID: 16420393 [PubMed - in process]





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