Serum Daytime Melatonin Levels Reflect Cerebrospinal Fluid Melatonin Levels in Alzheimer's Disease but Are Not Correlated with Cognitive Decline

Nous, Amber; Wittens, Mandy Melissa Jane; Vermeiren, Yannick; Deyn, Peter Paul De; Broeckhoven, Christine Van; Nagels, Guy; Smolders, Ilse; Engelborghs, Sebastiaan; Lewczuk, Piotr


Background: Nocturnal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood melatonin levels are altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, literature remains inconclusive on daytime blood melatonin levels. A positive correlation between melatonin levels and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores in AD subjects has been evidenced following cross-sectional analyses. Whereas a correlation between serum and spinal CSF melatonin has been shown in healthy volunteers, an equal investigation in AD patients still has to be undertaken. Objective: 1) To evaluate whether serum melatonin levels correlate with spinal CSF melatonin levels in AD. 2) To compare daytime CSF and serum melatonin levels between patients with AD dementia, mild cognitive impairment due to AD, and healthy controls, and to evaluate whether melatonin can affect cognitive decline in AD. Methods: Subjects with AD and healthy controls included in two existing cohorts, of whom a CSF and serum sample was available at the neurobiobank and had at least 6 months of neuropsychological follow-up, were included in the present study. Melatonin concentrations were measured with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: Daytime serum melatonin levels correlated with spinal CSF melatonin levels in AD (r=0.751, p<0.001). No significant differences regarding daytime melatonin levels were found between patients and controls. No correlations were observed between daytime melatonin levels and MMSE score changes. Conclusion: Daytime serum melatonin accurately reflects CSF melatonin levels in AD, raising the possibility to assess melatonin alterations by solely performing blood sampling if also confirmed for night-time values. However, daytime melatonin levels are not associated with changes of cognitive impairment.