Melatonin could improve brain functions related to sleep quality in children recovering from concussion, according to a University of Queensland study. Using the latest brain mapping techniques, researchers examined Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans from 62 children before and after taking melatonin or a placebo in a randomised clinical trial.
Child Health Research Centre’s Dr Kartik Iyer said the study revealed that concussed children who received 3mg or 10mg of melatonin over a four-week period experienced significant improvement in whole-brain function and grey matter – brain regions which are essential for sleep control and cognition.
One of the most common complaints after childhood concussion is sleep disturbance and fatigue, which can persist for years. Dr Iyer said this could have a detrimental effect on brain function and anatomy and potentially hinder progress to normal development.