Effects of Season on Melatonin Secretion in Healthy Men and Women and Patients With Seasonal Affective Disorder
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|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00001485|
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 10, 2002
Last Update Posted : March 4, 2008
As the seasons change during the course of the year, many animals show major changes in their behavior and physiology. Many of these changes are triggered by changes in the length of time each night that the pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is produced for a longer time in winter when nights are long, than in summer when nights are short.
Some researchers believe that melatonin may play a similar role in how season effects mood of patients with seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or mood disorder with seasonal pattern is a condition where the normal biorhythm is disturbed during a season, especially autumn-winter. Patients may begin experiencing or experience worsening of depressive symptoms. Patients complain of being constantly tired, craving sugary foods, overeating, and over sleeping.
Researchers have collected some preliminary data showing that the duration of nighttime melatonin secretion increases in winter and decreases in summer in healthy women, but not in healthy men. However, men diagnosed with SAD have shown longer duration of melatonin secretion in the winter, similar to the duration seen in healthy women. If these early findings are confirmed it may explain why SAD is more common in women than in men.
The purpose of this study is to continue researching the differences in melatonin secretion over the seasons in healthy men and women, and to determine how these findings may apply to patients with SAD.
|Condition or disease|
|Seasonal Affective Disorder|
|Study Type :||Observational|
|Estimated Enrollment :||116 participants|
|Official Title:||Gender Differences in the Effects of Season on Patterns of Nocturnal Melatonin Secretion in Healthy Volunteers and Patients With Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)|
|Study Start Date :||June 1995|
|Estimated Study Completion Date :||April 2000|
To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00001485
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|