Abnormal secretion of melatonin and cortisol in relation to sleep disturbances in children with Williams syndrome

Sniecinska-Cooper, Anna Maria, Iles, Ray Kruse, Butler, Stephen A., Jones, Huw ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0024-864X, Bayford, Richard ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8863-6385 and Dimitriou, Dagmara (2015) Abnormal secretion of melatonin and cortisol in relation to sleep disturbances in children with Williams syndrome. Sleep Medicine, 16 (1) . pp. 94-100. ISSN 1389-9457 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2014.09.003)


Objective: A high rate of sleep disturbances has been reported in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) but the underlying aetiology has yet to be identified. Melatonin and cortisol levels display circa- dian rhythmicity and are known to affect and regulate sleep/wake patterns. The current study examined the levels of these two endocrine markers and explored a possible relationship with sleep patterns in children with WS.
Methods: Twenty-fivechildrenwithWSand27typicallydevelopingage-andgender-matchedcompar- ison children were recruited. Saliva was collected from each child at three time points: 4–6 pm, before natural bedtime, and after awakening. The levels of salivary melatonin and cortisol were analysed by specific enzyme-linked immunoassays. Sleep patterns were examined using actigraphy and the Chil- dren’s Sleep Habit Questionnaire.
Results: The WS group had shallower drops in cortisol and less pronounced increase in melatonin at bedtime compared to the controls. Furthermore, they also had significantly higher levels of cortisol before bedtime. Conclusions: Increased bedtime cortisol and less pronounced rise in melatonin levels before sleep may play a role in the occurrence of sleep disturbances, such as delayed sleep onset, observed in children with WS. As both markers play a significant role in our circadian rhythm and sleep/wake cycle, it is neces- sary to examine sleep using multi-system analysis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online 19 September 2014
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences > Biophysics and Bioengineering group
Item ID: 15517
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Richard Bayford
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 14:06
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2020 13:28
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15517

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