What if a melatonin deficiency is linked with scoliosis? Scientists may have found exciting news that may bring alternative treatments for scoliosis patients if there is a definitive connection with melatonin deficiencies!

Melatonin – Our Bedtime Hormone

scoliosis x-rayMelatonin is best known for being our sleep hormone. When the levels are high, we are sleepy, and when they are low, we are not tired. Causes of decrease melatonin levels include stress, minimal exposure to light during the day, excessive light exposure at night, time zone changes or night shift work, and lack of sleep.

New Findings Presented to Scoliosis Research Society Meeting

Every year the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) meets to discuss papers presented that focus on spinal deformity. This past year (2016) the annual meeting was held in Prague, Czech Republic. This year’s winner of Basic Science Russell A. Hibbs Best Paper was a Japanese scientist, Masafumi Machida, MD.

Interestingly enough, Dr. Machida presented his paper “The Possible Pathogenesis in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Based on Experimental Model of Melatonin-deficient C57BL/6J Mice.”  Dr. Machida and his group have already demonstrated that by depriving mice of melatonin, mice will develop Scoliosis. However, in this paper, the researchers supplemented melatonin to these mice and prevented this spinal condition from developing!

Dr. Machida and researchers have also identified the part of the brain the melatonin works on (Ventricular Hypothalamus Nucleus). The thinking is that this part of the brain may be responsible for the development of Scoliosis.

The exciting news is if scientists can truly link Melatonin deficiency with Scoliosis, we potentially may have non-surgery options for severe scoliosis treatment in the future.

Paul Saiz, MD

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