By Dr. Anuj Chandra, Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders
(November 18, 2020) — New research from the Cleveland Clinic shows that melatonin could be a possible treatment for COVID-19. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm, the internal clock that guides essential body functions, including the sleep-wake cycle.
Using an artificial intelligence platform developed by the Lerner Research Institute, which is part of the Cleveland Clinic, researchers analyzed patient data from Cleveland Clinic’s registry of COVID-19 patients. They identified 34 drugs that are already used for autoimmune, pulmonary, and neurological diseases that have potential for being repurposed to treat COVID-19.
Melatonin stood out as the most promising.
- People who used melatonin had a nearly 30% lower chance of testing positive for COVID-19.
- The benefit was even greater for African Americans, who had a 52% lower chance of testing positive for COVID-19.
It is important to understand that this research was only looking at data. These researchers did not actually give melatonin to people.
That’s why this does not mean that people should go out and start taking melatonin on their own. Additional research is needed to determine the clinical benefit of melatonin by doing controlled and randomized trials, in which some people get the drug and others receive a placebo.
Read the original announcement from Cleveland Clinic here.
Anuj Chandra, M.D., D.ABSM, founded the Advanced Center for Sleep Medicine in 2005, an independent sleep medicine clinic equipped with the latest sleep testing equipment and with locations in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since 2005, Dr. Chandra has served on the international teaching faculty of the National Sleep Medicine Course, a physician education initiative to bring cutting edge to sleep medicine training to India. For more on Dr. Chandra and the Advanced Center for Sleep Medicine, visit www.sleepforhealth.org.