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The role of melatonin in the pathogenesis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)

By M. Girardo, N. Bettini, E. Dema and S. Cervellati


The cause of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) in humans remains obscure and probably multifactorial. At present, there is no proven method or test available to identify children or adolescent at risk of developing AIS or identify which of the affected individuals are at risk of progression. Reported associations are linked in pathogenesis rather than etiologic factors. Melatonin may play a role in the pathogenesis of scoliosis (neuroendocrine hypothesis), but at present, the data available cannot clearly show the role of melatonin in producing scoliosis in humans. The data regarding human melatonin levels are mixed at best, and the melatonin deficiency as a causative factor in the etiology of scoliosis cannot be supported. It will be an important issue of future research to investigate the role of melatonin in human biology, the clinical efficacy, and safety of melatonin under different pathological situations. Research is needed to better define the role of all factors in AIS development

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