Melatonin and novel melatonin-based therapies such as melatonin-containing hybrid molecules, melatonin analogues, and melatonin derivatives have been investigated as potential therapeutics against Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. In this review, we examine the developmental trends of melatonin therapies for AD from 1997 to 2021. We then highlight the neuroprotective mechanisms of melatonin therapy derived from preclinical studies. These mechanisms include the alleviation of amyloid-related burden, neurofibrillary tangle accumulation, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, mitochondrial dysfunction, and impaired neuroplasticity and neurotransmission. We further illustrate the beneficial effects of melatonin on behavior in animal models of AD. Next, we discuss the clinical effects of melatonin on sleep, cognition, behavior, psychiatric symptoms, electroencephalography findings, and molecular biomarkers in patients with mild cognitive impairment and AD. We then explore the effectiveness of novel melatonin-based therapies. Lastly, we discuss the limitations of current melatonin therapies for AD and suggest two emerging research themes for future study.
Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Volume 65, April 2022,