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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 586270, 13 pages
Review Article

Role of Melatonin in Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury

Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi 110062, India

Received 31 July 2014; Revised 11 November 2014; Accepted 14 November 2014; Published 21 December 2014

Academic Editor: Swapan Ray

Copyright © 2014 Mehar Naseem and Suhel Parvez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Brain and spinal cord are implicated in incidences of two of the most severe injuries of central nervous system (CNS). Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a devastating neurological deficit involving primary and secondary injury cascades. The primary and secondary mechanisms include complex consequences of activation of proinflammatory cytokines, cerebral edema, upregulation of NF-κβ, disruption of blood-brain barrier (BBB), and oxidative stress. Spinal cord injury (SCI) includes primary and secondary injury cascades. Primary injury leads to secondary injury in which generation of free radicals and oxidative or nitrative damage play an important pathophysiological role. The indoleamine melatonin is a hormone secreted or synthesized by pineal gland in the brain which helps to regulate sleep and wake cycle. Melatonin has been shown to be a versatile hormone having antioxidative, antiapoptotic, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a special characteristic of crossing BBB. Melatonin has neuroprotective role in the injured part of the CNS after TBI and SCI. A number of studies have successfully shown its therapeutic value as a neuroprotective agent in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Here in this review we have compiled the literature supporting consequences of CNS injuries, TBI and SCI, and the protective role of melatonin in it.