Alzheimer’s disease or AD is commonly known to impair human memory, along with other vital brain functions. Mainly a result of destruction of brain cells, AD doesn’t have a cure yet.
However, treatment has been known to help. Research indicates that diseases on the lines of AD, are caused due to disruption of the biological clock. And melatonin is the hormone that runs this clock. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that lack of melatonin is a main reason that causes AD.
Let’s first have a brief look at some factors concerning AD
- One of the main symptoms of AD is Sundowning. Owing its name to its timing of occurring at sundown, this symptom causes anxiety and aggression, to name a few neurological disorders, amongst AD victims.
- Sundowning is also characterized by sleeplessness and restlessness, along with increase in mental and physical weariness.
The most apparent symptoms of AD are results of melatonin deficiency. Natural secretion of melatonin goes down with age, which is the main reason why the elderly are affected by AD.
One might ask, how melatonin comes to rescue when someone is affected by AD.
Melatonin, in association with the pineal gland, situated within the brain, regulates the biological clock. Hence, during a state of dysfunction, the clock can be kept working by a healthy dose of the hormone. Melatonin as medicinal supplements need not be used simultaneously with sedatives. You can take melatonin supplements for sleep witha dosage of 1-3 mg per day is common. However, it may vary from 0.1mg- 10 mg, depending upon the variables of age, weight, and stage of AD that the patient is in.
However, an artificially induced dosage of melatonin, has side-effects as follows
- Elevated slumber or increased grogginess.
- Blood dilution, when taken alongside anti-depressants.
Thus, it is advisable to have the naturally induced hormone in the following ways:
- Increasing intake of fruits like, oranges, pineapple, tart cherries etc.
- Exercise during daytime.
- Greater exposure to sunshine during the day.
- Cut down on your afternoon siesta, and daytime naps.
- Resorting to meditation and deep breathing exercises prior to sleeping.
The anti-oxidizing abilities or properties of melatonin are the reason why it is preferred while combating AD. The most vital cell repair processes are performed while a person is at rest, while sleeping. It is during this time, that this hormone binds itself to the negatively charged atoms of oxygen and nitrogen. On one hand, while this activity prevents cellular damage, on another hand, it also multiplies production of antioxidant enzymes.
This hormone promotes formation of new nerve cells, called, neurons. It reduces formation of tangles by minimizing the amount of damage that is likely to be caused during division of cells.
A few other uses of melatonin are as follows
- Protection of brain transmitters owing to its properties of anti-oxidation.
- Enhancement of immune system by increased production of antibodies.
- Prevention of inflammation of the brain cells, an attribute that comes from its abilities as an anti-oxidant.
Hence, synthesis of melatonin, and its effective circulation thereof, can help control AD to a great extent.
As mentioned earlier, naturally induced melatonin is safest, and healthiest, coupled with a properly balanced, timely lifestyle. However, in case, one resorts to medicinal induction, the following checkpoints are recommended.
- Proper determination of the necessity of including melatonin.
- Regular monitoring of the patient’s routine, once melatonin usage begins.
Thus, despite naturally induced melatonin, holding an advantage over artificial induction, the latter is the least toxic. With proper monitoring of levels and intake of the same, medicinal supplements can prove to be highly beneficial for AD patients.
However, as stages of AD progress, the effectiveness reduces, thereby making the induction useless. Hence, early detection is important.
Awareness of usage and curative properties of this hormone is essential. Since, most people keep it handy for combating jetlag; using melatonin to counter AD escapes them due to ignorance.
With the required awareness, battling Alzheimer’s becomes easy. Why let AD take control of one’s life, when the medication lies within one’s hands?