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Keywords:

  • melatonin;
  • immune function;
  • neuroinflammation;
  • major psychiatric disorders

Abstract

The aim of this review was to summarize the potential use of melatonin in the treatment of mental disorders, specifically bipolar disorders, depression, and schizophrenia. To date, melatonin has been most commonly used in psychiatry because of its hypnotic, rhythm resynchronizing, and antioxidant actions. Here, we examine other properties of the melatonin including its anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, anxiolytic, and drug detoxification actions as well as its protective effects against neural loss. The brain is an intricate sensory and motor organ which receives information from both the external and internal environments. It transduces information into complex chemical and electrical signals which are transmitted throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and the organism. The pathogenesis of mental disorders remains ambiguous and neuroinflammation has been proposed as a causative agent. We consider the potential contributions of melatonin as therapeutic agent in CNS and during neuroinflammation in mental disorders. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.