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The use of melatonin for sleep disturbance in depression and dementia

Serfaty, MA; (2006) The use of melatonin for sleep disturbance in depression and dementia. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Background: Sleep disturbance is a characteristic symptom of both depression and dementia. Melatonin has been shown to be helpful in disorders of the sleep wake cycle. There is also some evidence to suggest that it may have antidepressant properties. We conducted two separate pragmatic randomised controlled trials investigating the use of melatonin in depression and dementia respectively to see whether there was an effect on sleep. Methods: All patients included in both trials were in a primary care setting. Patients were randomised double blind to exogenous slow release 6 mg or placebo adopting parallel and crossover designs in the depression and dementia trials respectively. Objective measures of sleep were made using wrist actigraphy for the main outcome, although subjective measures of sleep were also taken using sleep diaries and the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire. Subsidiary measures also included the Beck Depression Inventory in the depression study and the Mini Mental State Examination in the dementia study. Results: There was no effect of melatonin on sleep for treating either depression or dementia, although a trend towards improvement in mood was seen in the depression trial. There was difficulty in recruiting people to both trials possibly because of ethical concerns by referrers associated with involving people with mental health problems in research. Conclusions: Despite widespread claims made about the beneficial properties of melatonin, its use is probably best suited to people with disorders of circadian rhythms. Nevertheless, there is some evidence to suggest that melatonin may have some mood elevating properties and this warrants further investigation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The use of melatonin for sleep disturbance in depression and dementia
Identifier: PQ ETD:593436
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446107
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