Melatonin influences human balance

F. Fraschini, A. Cesarani, D. Alpini, D. Esposti, B. M. Stankov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to evaluate a possible correlation between melatonin, the cerebellum and, consequently, human balance, a double-blind pilot study was performed in 5 subjects with random administration of different doses of melatonin. Before and 1 h after a single administration, a complete otoneurological examination was performed. This first pilot study revealed that melatonin had effects on human equilibrium although these effects were not dosage related and were different in individual subjects. On the basis of these results, a second study was performed. Fourteen healthy volunteers were investigated before and 1 h after administration of a single dose of 10 mg melatonin. The otoneurological examination was restricted to the evaluation of: horizontal saccades, horizontal sinusoidal smooth pursuit, eyes open, eyes closed and head retroflexed static posturography. All subjects showed a decrease in posturographic performances, especially in the simplest test (eyes open) and half of them (6 out of 13) showed also impairment of eye movements. These results confirm the role of melatonin in the control of sensorimotor performances, and the cerebellar receptors might be correlated with the control of human balance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Signals and Receptors
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Equilibriometric evaluation
  • Melatonin human balance
  • Otoneurological examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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