Can sleeping pills help slow the onset of dementia?
Researchers at the University of Sydney are recruiting volunteers for a study that will examine whether a common ingredient of sleeping pills can improve memory and thinking.
Melatonin, often called the sleep hormone, has antioxidant properties. A team from the Woolcock Institute and University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre are planning to study whether high doses of melatonin can improve cognitive function.
The melatonin used in the research will be given at much higher doses, and in a faster-acting form than that found in over-the-counter sleeping pills.
The researchers aim to test the melatonin formulation of 40 volunteers with mild cognitive impairment to see if it can prevent or delay the onset of dementia by reducing oxidative stress in the brain.
Oxidative stress is known to cause damage to cells, and it can lead to a variety of health conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases.
If the initial study is successful, testing will then begin on a larger group.
At PIM we have a particular interest in complex and chronic conditions. Contact us to learn more.