Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex demyelinating disorder resulting from multiplicity genetic and environmental risk factors. The substantial rise in MS prevalence and changing in the epidemiological pattern of MS have been shown in several population-based studies. Melatonin is mainly produced by pineal gland in dark phase and metabolized to principal metabolite 6-hydroxy-melatonin in the liver. Although, melatonin secretion has a constant rhythmic amplitude in each individual, significant differences has been shown among the general population. Varied factors such as, high oxygen utilization; high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids; low concentrations of cytosolic antioxidants; and, existence of transition metals such as iron involved in the generation of hydroxyl radicals make the brain susceptible to radical damage. Complications such as sleep restriction and depression are common in MS. Melatonin secretion is directly affected by environmental stimuli such as light and in turn, regulates the sleep circle in humans. Clinical and experimental studies should consider the concurrent role of melatonin and vitamin D on MS-related symptoms and disease course. one of the routine treatments of MS patients i.e. Interferon-beta may result in increased level of serum melatonin, though, this medication was not shown to improve the sleep efficacy.
Last date updated on June, 2014