REVIEW ARTICLE: Melatonin plus exercise-based neurorehabilitative therapy for spinal cord injury
Article first published online: 7 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Pineal Research © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Journal of Pineal Research
Volume 49, Issue 3, pages 201–209, October 2010
How to Cite
Hong, Y., Palaksha, K. J., Park, K., Park, S., Kim, H.-D., Reiter, R. J. and Chang, K.-T. (2010), REVIEW ARTICLE: Melatonin plus exercise-based neurorehabilitative therapy for spinal cord injury. Journal of Pineal Research, 49: 201–209. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2010.00786.x
- Issue published online: 2 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 7 JUL 2010
- Received April 2, 2010; accepted April 30, 2010.
- animal model;
- secondary/oxidative damage;
- spinal cord injury
Abstract: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord caused by the trauma or disease that results in compromised or loss of body function. Subsequent to SCI in humans, many individuals have residual motor and sensory deficits that impair functional performance and quality of life. The available treatments for SCI are rehabilitation therapy, activity-based therapies, and pharmacological treatment using antioxidants and their agonists. Among pharmacological treatments, the most efficient and commonly used antioxidant for experimental SCI treatment is melatonin, an indolamine secreted by pineal gland at night. Melatonin’s receptor-independent free radical scavenging action and its broad-spectrum antioxidant activity makes it an ideal antioxidant to protect tissue from oxidative stress-induced secondary damage after SCI. Owing to the limitations of an activity-based therapy and antioxidant treatment singly on the functional recovery and oxidative stress-induced secondary damages after SCI, a melatonin plus exercise treatment may be a more effective therapy for SCI. As suggested herein, supplementation with melatonin in conjunction with exercise not only would improve the functional recovery by enhancing the beneficial effects of exercise but would reduce the secondary tissue damage simultaneously. Finally, melatonin may protect against exercise-induced fatigue and impairments. In this review, based on the documented evidence regarding the beneficial effects of melatonin, activity-based therapy and the combination of both on functional recovery, as well as reduction of secondary damage caused by oxidative stress after SCI, we suggest the melatonin combined with exercise would be a novel neurorehabilitative strategy for the faster recovery after SCI.