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Melatonin’s Effect in Febrile Seizures and Epilepsy

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      ObjectiveRecognition of risk factors for febrile seizures (FS) and epilepsy is essential.Studies regarding the role of melatonin in these convulsive disorders are limited.This study determines the relationship between serum melatonin levels and FS and epilepsy in children.Materials & MethodsA population of 111 children with simple FS, complex FS, and epilepsy (37 children per group, respectively) were included as case groups. In addition, 37 febrile children without seizures comprised the control group. Serum melatonin levels were measured and compared between all groups.ResultsThe serum melatonin levels in the simple, complex FSs, and epilepsy groups were 2, 2.4, and 2 pg/ml, respectively. The serum melatonin level in the control group was 2.1pg/ml.Moreover, there were no significant differences observed while comparing the case groups.ConclusionThe present study reveals that there is no association between serum melatonin level and simple or complex FS and epilepsy. It appears that melatonin plays no significant role in these convulsive disorders.

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      Antioxidant enzymes form the first line of defense against free radicals in organisms. Their regulation depends mainly on the oxidant status of the cell, given that oxidants are their principal modulators. However, other factors have been reported to increase antioxidant enzyme activity and/or gene expression. During the last decade, the antioxidant melatonin has been shown to possess genomic actions, regulating the expression of several genes. Melatonin also influences both antioxidant enzyme activity and cellular mRNA levels for these enzymes. In the present report, we review the studies which document the influence of melatonin on the activity and expression of the antioxidative enzymes glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutases and catalase both under physiological and under conditions of elevated oxidative stress. We also analyze the possible mechanisms by which melatonin regulates these enzymes.
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        Physiological effects of melatonin: role of melatonin receptors and signal transduction pathways.

        Melatonin, an endogenous signal of darkness, is an important component of the body's internal time-keeping system. As such it regulates major physiological processes including the sleep wake cycle, pubertal development and seasonal adaptation. In addition to its relevant antioxidant activity, melatonin exerts many of its physiological actions by interacting with membrane MT1 and MT2 receptors and intracellular proteins such as quinone reductase 2, calmodulin, calreticulin and tubulin. Here we review the current knowledge about the properties and signaling of melatonin receptors as well as their potential role in health and some diseases. Melatonin MT1 and MT2 receptors are G protein coupled receptors which are expressed in various parts of the CNS (suprachiasmatic nuclei, hippocampus, cerebellar cortex, prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens and retinal horizontal, amacrine and ganglion cells) and in peripheral organs (blood vessels, mammary gland, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidney and bladder, ovary, testis, prostate, skin and the immune system). Melatonin receptors mediate a plethora of intracellular effects depending on the cellular milieu. These effects comprise changes in intracellular cyclic nucleotides (cAMP, cGMP) and calcium levels, activation of certain protein kinase C subtypes, intracellular localization of steroid hormone receptors and regulation of G protein signaling proteins. There are circadian variations in melatonin receptors and responses. Alterations in melatonin receptor expression as well as changes in endogenous melatonin production have been shown in circadian rhythm sleep disorders, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, glaucoma, depressive disorder, breast and prostate cancer, hepatoma and melanoma. This paper reviews the evidence concerning melatonin receptors and signal transduction pathways in various organs. It further considers their relevance to circadian physiology and pathogenesis of certain human diseases, with a focus on the brain, the cardiovascular and immune systems, and cancer.
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          Febrile seizures.

           T Glauser,  S Shinnar (2001)
          Febrile seizures are the most common form of childhood seizures, occurring in 2 to 5% of children in the United States. Most febrile seizures are considered simple, although those with focal onset, prolonged duration, or that occur more than once within the same febrile illness are considered complex. Risk factors for a first febrile seizure, recurrence of febrile seizures, and development of future epilepsy are identifiable and varied. Children with febrile seizures encounter little risk of mortality and morbidity and have no association with any detectable brain damage. Recurrence is possible, but only a small minority will go on to develop epilepsy. Although antiepileptic drugs can prevent recurrent febrile seizures, they do not alter the risk of subsequent epilepsy. This has led to a changing view of how we approach the treatment of these common and largely benign seizures. This chapter will review the current understanding of the prognosis and management of febrile seizures.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Pediatrics, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.
            [2 ]Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Mofid Children’s Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
            [3 ]Department of Community Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
            Author notes
            [* ]Corresponding Author: Mahyar A. MD, Department of Pediatrics, Qazvin Children Hospital, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran, Tel: +98 281 3334807-9, Email:
            Iran J Child Neurol
            Iran J Child Neurol
            Iranian Journal of Child Neurology
            Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (Tehran, Iran )
            Summer 2014
            : 8
            : 3
            : 24-29

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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