ISSN 1214-0287 (on-line), ISSN 1214-021X (printed)
J Appl Biomed
Volume 9 (2011), No 4, p 185-196
DOI 10.2478/v10136-011-0003-6

Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders: implication and counteracting of melatonin

Miroslav Pohanka

Address: Miroslav Pohanka, Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defense, Trebesska 1575, 500 01 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
miroslav.pohanka@gmail.com

Received 21st January 2011.
Revised 16th February 2011.
Published online 7th April 2011.

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SUMMARY
Age related neurodegenerative disorders are becoming a serious public health problem. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive disease pathologically recognizable by deposition of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques. Oxidative stress probably plays a pivotal role in AD, but despite expectations, antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids have failed as effective prophylaxis and/or treatment. Melatonin, a hormone controlling circadian rhythm, is a potent terminal antioxidant. In vitro tests and animal models have established that the application of melatonin could be beneficial for the amelioration of AD progression. Unfortunately, melatonin effects in human beings are not well understood and a lot of work has still to be done. The review summarizes the basic facts about melatonin and its prospects as a treatment for AD using its hormonal and antioxidant properties.

KEY WORDS
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid plaques; neurofibrillary tangles; tau; amyloid beta; oxidative stress; melatonin; antioxidant

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