Melatonin proved to be a defense against Alzheimer’s disease.
Specialists of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the participation of colleagues from the Siberian State Medical University have found that prolonged use of melatonin significantly alleviates the disorders caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
There are two forms of Alzheimer’s disease: hereditary, which occurs about 40-50 years, and sporadic, which develops after 65 years. It is considered that the accumulation of neurotoxic forms of amyloid peptide becomes the central event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.β (BUTβ), which causes the formation of amyloid plaques and a cascade of events leading to progressive loss of nerve cells and the development of dementia (dementia). However, in recent years, there is evidence that the pathogenesis mechanisms of hereditary and sporadic forms of Alzheimer’s disease may be different.
If the hereditary form of toxic amyloid Aβ accumulates in the brain of patients due to a violation of the processing of the protein precursor amyloid-β (APP), then in patients with the sporadic form of Alzheimer’s disease, constituting approximately 95% of all cases of the disease, the main reason may be the processes occurring in the synapses of neurons.
One of the promising protectors of the central nervous system is the hormone epiphysis melatonin. In animals, it prevents the development of neurodegenerative changes. Novosibirsk scientists worked with the line of prematurely aging OXYS rats. Neurodegenerative changes in the brain of these animals are already apparent at the age of three months, and by the year, toxic forms A accumulate in neurons.β, there is a shortage of synapses and other changes characteristic of the nerve cells of patients with the sporadic form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists conducted an experiment: male OXYS rats aged 12 months for six months were given daily in the evening with a feed melatonin in a dose equivalent to the human dose (0.04 mg per kilogram of weight). No other group of OXYS rats received melatonin. Six months later, researchers assessed the effect of melatonin on the state of synapses, neurons and glial cells of the hippocampus. It turned out that the half-year course of melatonin significantly slowed down the neurodegenerative processes in OXYS rats. According to such indicators as synaptic density, their functional activity, the ultrastructural state of neurons and glial cells (auxiliary cells of the nervous system) of the hippocampus, the intensity of inflammatory processes, animals treated with melatonin are significantly closer to rats with a normal aging rate.
Also, melatonin intake suppressed A accumulation.β in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of rats. Previously, researchers found that melatonin slows down the development and progression of cognitive impairment, and also reduces anxiety.
Now scientists are planning to conduct in-depth studies of the mechanisms of action of melatonin on mitochondrial function, the dysfunction of which is considered as one of the key risk factors for the development of the sporadic form of Alzheimer’s disease.