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OBJECTIVE. This review has been prepared in response to the increasing interest shown in understanding the part played by melatonin in the body, which has led to the search for new uses of it in cerebral disorders, such as sleep disorders including insomnia, irritability, depression, behaviour disorders and even the treatment of autism, since sleep disorders also occur in this condition. We pay particular attention to studies involving epilepsy. DEVELOPMENT. We show that interest in melatonin is rapidly increasing and new discoveries are being made of the part it plays in the biological regulation of circadian rhythm, sleep, mood, ageing, tumour growth and reproduction. Perhaps these processes between them have led to its use in the treatment of many current problems such as neuroprotection, migraine and the control of epileptic seizures.
CONCLUSIONS. It has been shown that in both children and adults melatonin is of low toxicity and may be used in high risk persons. In this paper we make a careful analysis of recent publications in the medical literature dealing with the use of melatonin in the control of epileptic seizures and discuss its advantages and disadvantages. However, as with other types of treatment, further study, both experimental and otherwise, is necessary for confirmation.
EpilepsyInfancyMechanism of actionMelatoninPhysiologyEpilepsias y síndromes epilépticos