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Melatonin for SCI

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  • Melatonin for SCI

    Is melatonin helpful for human spinal cord injury?

  • #2
    help you sleep.......


    • #3
      Let me help you a little... If by help you mean function recovery, you should know that as today nothing except physical exercise helps recovery.

      So don't try looking for any therapy/cure for SCI, you won't find it. When and if a working therapy is found, this forum will surely inform you.

      As for symptoms treating, you will find melatonin has the same effect on a SCI person that on an able-bodied one, it supposedly helps you sleep (never really did work for me before and after sci thou...)


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bitpo View Post
        Is melatonin helpful for human spinal cord injury?
        While there is no credible evidence that melatonin restores function in people with chronic spinal cord injury, melatonin might serve some useful function in people with tetraplegia who are having difficulty sleeping.

        Verheggen, et al. (2012) found that evening melatonin levels are low in people with chronic spinal cord injury, particularly in tetraplegics.

        Park, et al. (2012) reported that subcutaneous injections of very high doses of melatonin (10 mg/kg) for 4 weeks, twice daily, improved locomotor and other recovery in rats after spinal cord injury. Note that the melatonin was started shortly after injury.

        Ersahn, et al. (2012) reported that melatonin (10 mg/kg) improves bladder function and had beneficial effects on other parameters, including levels of antioxidants in the body of rats.

        Lin, et al. (2011) reported the melatonin may be beneficial in treating heatstroke in rats. The mechanisms of such effects are not well understood but one suggested effect is through release of tissue factors that affect the vascular endothelium (Kostovski, et al., 2011). Finally, Hong, et al. (2010) and Park, et al. (2010) suggested that melatonin plus exercise may be beneficial.


        1. Verheggen RJ, Jones H, Nyakayiru J, Thompson A, Groothuis JT, Atkinson G, Hopman MT and Thijssen DH (2012). Complete absence of evening melatonin increase in tetraplegics. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 26: 3059-64. Department of Physiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI), especially with tetraplegia, experience poor sleep quality, and this may be related to impaired control of circadian rhythmicity. Here, we examined the evening onset of melatonin secretion, an important hormone for the initiation of sleep, in people with a complete cervical (tetraplegia) and thoracic (paraplegia) SCI, and age- and sex-matched able-bodied control participants. Multiple samples of salivary melatonin were obtained during the evening hours and analyzed by ELISA methods in 10 control partcipants, 9 individuals with paraplegia, and 6 individuals with tetraplegia. Sleep quality was assessed using questionnaires. Interactive effects of group and time were found for melatonin levels (P=0.022). In the control and paraplegia groups, the mean melatonin level increased significantly from 2.59 +/- 1.04 and 4.28 +/- 3.28 pg/ml at 7 PM to 10.62 +/- 4.59 and 13.10 +/- 7.39 pg/ml at 11 PM, respectively (P<0.001). In the tetraplegia group, melatonin level was 5.25 +/- 3.72 at 7 PM but only 2.41 +/- 1.25 pg/ml at 11 PM (P>0.05). Decreased sleep quality was more prevalent in individuals with tetraplegia (83%) and paraplegia (75%) compared with controls (20%; P=0.02). Unlike in the control and paraplegia groups, the evening increase in melatonin concentration was completely absent in the tetraplegia group. This provides biological insight into sleep regulation in humans and provides better understanding of the poor sleep quality in people with tetraplegia.

        2. Park S, Lee SK, Park K, Lee Y, Hong Y, Lee S, Jeon JC, Kim JH, Lee SR and Chang KT (2012). Beneficial effects of endogenous and exogenous melatonin on neural reconstruction and functional recovery in an animal model of spinal cord injury. Journal of pineal research 52: 107-19. Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease Center, College of Biomedical Science & Engineering, Inje University, Gimhae, Korea. The purpose of this study was to investigate the beneficial effects of endogenous and exogenous melatonin on functional recovery in an animal model of spinal cord injury (SCI). Eight-week-old male Sprague-Dawley (SD, 250-260 g) rats were used for contusion SCI surgery. All experimental groups were maintained under one of the following conditions: 12/12-hr light/dark (L/D) or 24:0-hr constant light (LL). Melatonin (10 mg/kg) was injected subcutaneously for 4 wk, twice daily (07:00, 19:00). Locomotor recovery, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), glial fibrillary acidic protein gene expression, and muscle atrophy-related genes, including muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx) and muscle-specific ring-finger protein 1 (MuRF1) gene expression were evaluated. Furthermore, autophagic signaling such as Beclin-1 and LC3 protein expression was examined in the spinal cord and in skeletal muscle. The melatonin treatment resulted in increased hind-limb motor function and decreased iNOS mRNA expression in the L/D condition compared with the LL condition (P < 0.05), indicating that endogenous melatonin had neuroprotective effects. Furthermore, the MAFbx, MuRF1 mRNA level, and converted LC3 II protein expression were decreased in the melatonin-treated SCI groups under the LL (P < 0.05), possibly in response to the exogenous melatonin treatment. Therefore, it seems that both endogenous and exogenous melatonin contribute to neural recovery and to the prevention of skeletal muscle atrophy, promoting functional recovery after SCI. Finally, this study supports the benefit of endogenous melatonin and use of exogenous melatonin as a therapeutic intervention for SCI.

        3. Ersahin M, Ozdemir Z, Ozsavci D, Akakin D, Yegen BC, Reiter RJ and Sener G (2012). Melatonin treatment protects against spinal cord injury induced functional and biochemical changes in rat urinary bladder. Journal of pineal research 52: 340-8. Department of Neurosurgery, Samsun Education and Research Hospital, Samsun, Turkey. Oxidative stress induced by spinal cord injury (SCI) has deleterious effects on the function of several organ systems including the urinary bladder. In this study, we investigated the possible protective actions of melatonin on SCI-induced oxidative damage and urinary bladder dysfunction. Wistar albino rats (n = 24) were divided randomly as control, vehicle- or melatonin (10 mg/kg, ip)-treated SCI groups. To induce SCI, a standard weight-drop method that induced a moderately severe injury at T10 was used. Injured animals were given either vehicle or melatonin 15 min postinjury. One week postinjury, each rat was neurologically examined and then decapitated; blood samples were taken to evaluate neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and soluble protein 100beta (S-100beta). Spinal cord (SC) and urinary bladder samples were taken for functional studies and histological examination or stored for the measurement of malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH) and nerve growth factor (NGF) levels and caspase-3 activity. Isometric contractions in bladder strips were induced by carbachol. In the SCI rats, decreased contractile responses of the bladder strips were found to be restored by melatonin treatment. Serum S-100beta levels and NSE activities and tissue MDA levels and caspase-3 activities, all of which were elevated in the vehicle-treated SCI animals as compared to the control values, were reversed by melatonin treatment. On the other hand, reduced GSH and NGF levels due to SCI were restored by melatonin treatment. Furthermore, melatonin treatment improved histological findings. These findings suggest that melatonin reduces SCI-induced tissue injury and improves bladder functions through its effects on oxidative stress and NGF.

        4. Lin XJ, Mei GP, Liu J, Li YL, Zuo D, Liu SJ, Zhao TB and Lin MT (2011). Therapeutic effects of melatonin on heatstroke-induced multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in rats. Journal of pineal research 50: 436-44. Rehabilitation Department of Spinal Cord Injury, General Hospital Jinan Military, Shandong, China. Melatonin reportedly exerts beneficial effects to attenuate multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in septic shock. Heatstroke resembles septic shock in many aspects. Thus, this study was performed on the anesthetized rats by using heat exposure to induce heatstroke-associated MODS. We evaluated the effect of melatonin, a versatile molecule synthesized in the pineal gland and in many organs, in heatstroke rats and showed that melatonin (0.2-5.0 mg/kg of body weight, i.v., immediately after the start of heat stress) significantly (i) attenuated hyperthermia, hypotension and hypothalamic ischemia and hypoxia, (ii) reduced plasma index of the toxic oxidizing radicals like nitric oxide metabolites and hydroxyl radicals, (iii) diminished plasma index of hepatic and renal dysfunction like creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and lactate dehydrogenase, (iv) attenuated plasma systemic inflammation response molecules like soluble intercellular and lesion molecule-1, E-selectin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, and IL-6, (v) promoted plasma levels of an anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, (vi) reduced an index of infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils in the lung like myeloperoxidase activity, and (vii) promoted the survival time to fourfold compared with the heatstroke alone group. Thus, melatonin could be a novel agent for the treatment of heatstroke animals or patients in the early stage.

        5. Park K, Lee Y, Park S, Lee S, Hong Y and Kil Lee S (2010). Synergistic effect of melatonin on exercise-induced neuronal reconstruction and functional recovery in a spinal cord injury animal model. Journal of pineal research 48: 270-81. Department of Rehabilitation Science in Interdisciplinary PhD Program, Inje University, Gimhae, Korea. Nitric oxide (NO) may aggravate neuronal damage after spinal cord injury (SCI). We hypothesized that NO produced by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) accelerates secondary damage to spinal tissue, which may be reversed by the neuroprotectant, melatonin. This study investigated the effects of combination therapy with melatonin (10 mg/kg) and exercise (10 m/min) on recovery from SCI caused by contusion. We examined locomotor recovery, iNOS gene expression, autophagic and apoptotic signaling, including Beclin-1, LC3, p53 and IKKalpha protein expression and histological alterations in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. Melatonin in combination with exercise resulted in significantly increased hindlimb movement (P < 0.05), a reduced level of iNOS mRNA (P < 0.05) and more motor neurons in the ventral horn, versus control SCI and SCI plus exercise alone, with no effect on the other signaling molecules examined. This study shows that combined therapy with melatonin and exercise reduces the degree of secondary damage associated with SCI in rats and supports the possible use of melatonin in combination with exercise to reduce the side effects related to exercise-induced fatigue and impairment.

        6. Hong Y, Palaksha KJ, Park K, Park S, Kim HD, Reiter RJ and Chang KT (2010). Melatonin plus exercise-based neurorehabilitative therapy for spinal cord injury. Journal of pineal research 49: 201-9. Department of Physical Therapy, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease Center, College of Biomedical Science & Engineering, Inje University, 607 O-bang Dong, Gimhae 621-749, Korea. Spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord caused by the trauma or disease that results in compromised or loss of body function. Subsequent to SCI in humans, many individuals have residual motor and sensory deficits that impair functional performance and quality of life. The available treatments for SCI are rehabilitation therapy, activity-based therapies, and pharmacological treatment using antioxidants and their agonists. Among pharmacological treatments, the most efficient and commonly used antioxidant for experimental SCI treatment is melatonin, an indolamine secreted by pineal gland at night. Melatonin's receptor-independent free radical scavenging action and its broad-spectrum antioxidant activity makes it an ideal antioxidant to protect tissue from oxidative stress-induced secondary damage after SCI. Owing to the limitations of an activity-based therapy and antioxidant treatment singly on the functional recovery and oxidative stress-induced secondary damages after SCI, a melatonin plus exercise treatment may be a more effective therapy for SCI. As suggested herein, supplementation with melatonin in conjunction with exercise not only would improve the functional recovery by enhancing the beneficial effects of exercise but would reduce the secondary tissue damage simultaneously. Finally, melatonin may protect against exercise-induced fatigue and impairments. In this review, based on the documented evidence regarding the beneficial effects of melatonin, activity-based therapy and the combination of both on functional recovery, as well as reduction of secondary damage caused by oxidative stress after SCI, we suggest the melatonin combined with exercise would be a novel neurorehabilitative strategy for the faster recovery after SCI.


        • #5
          ^^^ a genius at work!


          • #6
            Is 10 mg too much. I took 5 woke up 5 hrs later at 3am and took another 5 vis that ok? How much is too much. (I'm a quad)

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            • #7
              Thanks, Wise. Very interesting. Guess I'm a tetraplegic as I have spasticity/muscle stiffness from shoulders down and yet pretty normal sensation all over and can use walker. I take 5 mg of melatonin per night and more doesn't help, but sometimes may use a GABA capsule for great sleep.



              • #8
                Someone on here once recommended taking a lower dosage as more effective, so I've been doing 1.5 mg every night. I still sleep like crap though.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ECUrach85 View Post
                  Is 10 mg too much. I took 5 woke up 5 hrs later at 3am and took another 5 vis that ok? How much is too much. (I'm a quad)
                  See Dosing at

                  3 mg seems to work for me, and it's much cheaper on Amazon than in the drugstore.


                  • #10
                    I think the Melatonin also helps keep my partner dry at night between cathings....not sure why