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Epilepsia. 2001 Sep;42(9):1208-10.

Melatonin effect on seizures in children with severe neurologic deficit disorders.

Author information

1
Sleep Laboratory, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. peledbn@inter.net.il

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Recently, melatonin has been associated with antiepileptic activity, most probably because of its antioxidant activity as a free radical scavenger. This study aimed to expand the clinical experience with melatonin as an antiepileptic drug (AED) in humans.

METHODS:

Six children (aged 2-15 years), with severe intractable seizures, were treated with 3 mg of oral melatonin 30 min before bedtime, in addition to their previous AED treatment for 3 months. A diary of clinical seizure activity (time of day, duration, and type) was kept by parents for a month before and during treatment. Five patients underwent a baseline polysomnography, and three also were monitored during melatonin treatment.

RESULTS:

With the exception of the parents of one child, all reported a significant clinical improvement in seizure activity during treatment, particularly during the night. Sleep studies showed a decrease in epileptic activity in two of the three patients who were monitored during treatment, and a change of sleep efficiency from 84.2% to 89.7% (NS). Improvement in daytime behavior and in communication abilities was reported by parents, although it was not objectively measured.

CONCLUSIONS:

This clinical observation adds to the growing data showing the antiepileptic effect of melatonin. However, owing to the paucity of well-controlled studies, using melatonin as an AED should be limited to this specific group of patients with intractable seizures.

PMID:
11580772
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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