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Summary: Researchers identified a specific neural network that positively responds to melatonin following concussion in children. Results suggest melatonin may help compensate for normal brain function that has been interrupted due to injury caused by concussion and helps prevent sleep disturbances.
Using the latest brain mapping techniques, researchers examined Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans from 62 children before and after taking melatonin or a placebo in a randomised clinical trial.
Child Health Research Centre’s Dr Kartik Iyer said the study revealed that concussed children who received 3mg or 10mg of melatonin over a four-week period experienced significant improvement in whole-brain function and grey matter – brain regions which are essential for sleep control and cognition.
Dr Iyer said the MRI scans enabled the team to rapidly assess millions of neural connections to help guide treatment response.
“We identified a specific “network” of brain connections that positively responded to melatonin treatment, compared with placebo,” Dr Iyer said.
“The results suggest melatonin, when taken by children with concussion, compensated for normal brain functions that may have been interrupted due to injury.”