Analysis of Different Melatonin Secretion Patterns in Children With Sleep Disorders: Melatonin Secretion Patterns in Children

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The objective of this study was to analyze circadian patterns of urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) excretion in children with primary sleep disorders in comparison with healthy controls. A total of 124 control children and 124 patients (aged 4-14 years) diagnosed with diverse primary sleep disorders were recruited. aMT6s concentrations were measured in diurnal and nocturnal urine, as well as in 24-hour urine. aMT6s levels were significantly higher and showed significantly more evident circadian variations in the control group (P < .001). Four different melatonin (aMT) production and excretion patterns were distinguished in the group with sleep disorders: (1) standard aMT production pattern, (2) low aMT production pattern, (3) aMT production pattern with absence of circadian variation, and (4) aMT hyperproduction pattern. This study highlights the importance of analyzing specific alterations of aMT secretion in each sleep disorder and provides evidences to explain why not all children with sleep disturbances do respond to aMT treatment.

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