Melatonin in Psychiatric and Neoplastic Disorders

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American Psychiatric Press, 1998 - Medical - 314 pages
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In recent years, research on the function and effect of melatonin, a hormone of the pineal gland, has produced promising results with implications for clinical psychiatry, oncology, endocrinology, and other areas of medicine. Divergent levels of serum melatonin in major depression in adults and children and adolescents may indicate phenomenologically similar, but biologically different, subtypes of major depression. This discovery could lead to the development of new, more objective diagnostic tests for some forms of major depression. Melatonin is also being used to induce sleep and treat jet lag, and recent findings indicate that it acts as a potent, natural antioxidant and has possible anticancer properties. These findings, however, have created unreasonable expectations and unsubstantiated claims that melatonin is miracle drug.

To dispell these inflated claims and expectations, Melatonin in Psychiatric and Neoplastic Disorders provides psychiatrists, oncologists, endocrinologists, pediatricians, and other health professionals with a thorough examination of the most current research on the role of melatonin in psychiatric and neoplastic disorders. This unique textbook and clinical reference is divided into four sections. Evolutionary Development and Neurobiology of the Pineal Gland discusses the synthesis of melatonin and the anatomy of the pineal gland. In Melatonin in Psychiatric Disorders in Adults pioneers in the field of pineology outline their findings on melatonin in the areas of adult depression, sleep disorders, chronobiological mood disorders, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, panic disorders, shift work maladaptation, and jet lag. Melatonin in Children and Adolescents examines the pineal gland and melatonin in healthy children and adolescents and reviews recent studies on serum and urine melatonin in major depression. Melatonin and Neoplastic Disorders examines melatonins potential as an antioxidant in cancer cells and its diagnostic and therapeutic value in oncology. The final chapter looks at the role that mindful meditation plays in increasing nocturnal serum melatonin and examines meditation's potential as an adjunct treatment for breast, prostate, and gastrointestinal tract cancers or as a preventative measure for high-risk individuals.

With the expert knowledge and current research presented in Melatonin in Psychiatric and Neoplastic Disorders, clinicians can provide accurate information to their patients on melatonin's role in health and disease.

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Contents

The Structure and Evolutionary Development
27
Melatonin in Adult Depression
43
Melatonin in Circadian Phase Sleep
81
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Mohammad Shafii, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky.

Sharon L. Shafii, R.N., B.S.N., is Editor-in-Residence in Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Shafii was formerly Assistant Head Nurse in the Adolescent Service at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Michigan Medical Center, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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