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The Dose- and Duration-Dependent Association between Melatonin Treatment and Overall Cognition in Alzheimer's Dementia: A Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Ping-Tao Tseng, Bing-Yan Zeng, Yen-Wen Chen, Chun-Pai Yang, Kuan-Pin Su, Tien-Yu Chen, Yi-Cheng Wu, Yu-Kang Tu, Pao-Yen Lin, Andre F Carvalho, Brendon Stubbs, Yutaka J Matsuoka, Dian-Jeng Li, Chih-Sung Liang, Chih-Wei Hsu, Cheuk-Kwan Sun, Yu-Shian Cheng, Pin-Yang Yeh, Yow-Ling Shiue

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1816-1833
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number10
Early online date20 Apr 2022
E-pub ahead of print20 Apr 2022
PublishedOct 2022

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Background: While Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) has a prevalence as high as 3-32% and is associated with cognitive dysfunction and the risk of institutionalization, no efficacious and acceptable treatments can modify the course of cognitive decline in AD. Potential benefits of exogenous melatonin for cognition have been divergent across trials. Objective: The current network meta-analysis (NMA) was conducted under the frequentist model to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of exogenous melatonin supplementation on overall cognitive function in participants with AD in comparison to other FDA-approved medications (donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, memantine, and Namzaric). Methods: The primary outcome was the changes in the cognitive function [measured by mini-mental state examination (MMSE)] after treatment in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia. The secondary outcomes were changes in the quality of life, behavioral disturbance, and acceptability (i.e., drop-out due to any reason and rate of any adverse event reported). Results: The current NMA of 50 randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) revealed the medium-term lowdose melatonin to be associated with the highest post-treatment MMSE (mean difference = 1.48 in MMSE score, 95% confidence intervals [95% CIs] = 0.51 to 2.46) and quality of life (standardized mean difference =-0.64, 95% CIs =-1.13 to-0.15) among all of the investigated medications in the participants with AD. Finally, all of the investigated exogenous melatonin supplements were associated with similar acceptability as was the placebo. Conclusion: The current NMA provides evidence for the potential benefits of exogenous melatonin supplementation, especially medium-term low-dose melatonin, in participants with AD. Trial Registration: The current study complies with the Institutional Review Board of the Tri-Service General Hospital (TSGHIRB: B-109-29) and had been registered in PROSPERO (CRD42020193088).

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