The primary goal of this study is to identify the presence of desynchronized circadian
rhythms in 25 children by measuring melatonin secretion in serial blood or saliva samples,
and to rule out any primary sleep disorders.
Subjects will complete 25-hours of hourly salivary, plasma sampling biweekly. Melatonin will
be measured in urine, for children under the age of 3. Sleep and behavioral questionnaires
will be completed by parents and/or teachers. This study involves an optional, 1-year
melatonin treatment sub-study, in which the children will take 0.1 - 3mg daily. A second
optional sub-study involves a study of the child's sleep through polysomnography, in order
to identify possible sleep disorders.
- Age 1-20 years
- Blindness for the past year (verified by an ophthalmologic exam), but otherwise in
general good health.
- Abnormal heart, lung, kidney, liver disease or a primary sleep disorder,
- Significant clinical abnormalities (other than blindness),
- Use of medications with known effects on melatonin metabolism (e.g. beta-adrenergic
blocking drugs or tricyclic antidepressants).