Melatonin and mental capacities in newborn infants

Sari Goldstein Ferber, Heidelise Als, Gloria McAnulty, Hava Peretz, Nava Zisapel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the role of melatonin in the emergence of mental capacities in the newborn infant. Study design: Assessment of Preterm Infant Behavior examination was performed at 2 weeks post-term age for 39 (21 preterm and 18 term) infants. 6-Suphatoxymelatonin from nocturnal urine samples was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and the Mental Developmental Index, assessed by Bayley scales, was correlated at 4, 6, and 9 months' corrected age. Results: Multivariate analysis of variance with repeated measures showed that improved autonomic function at 2 weeks of age was associated with higher Mental Developmental Index scores at 9 months when related to the amount of melatonin at 4, 6, and 9 months of age. Conclusions: Early compromised autonomic system function in preterm infants is associated with lower mental capacities and is related to lower melatonin levels at later ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103.e1
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


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