• Goldman SE, Adkins KW, Calcutt MW, Carter MD, Goodpaster RL, Wang L, Shi Y, Burgess HJ, Hachey DL, Malow BA. Melatonin in children with autism spectrum disorders: endogenous and pharmacokinetic profiles in relation to sleep. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2014 Oct;44(10). 2525-35. PMID: 24752680 [PubMed].


Supplemental melatonin has been used to treat sleep onset insomnia in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), although the mechanism of action is uncertain. We assessed endogenous and supplemental melatonin profiles in relation to sleep in nine children with ASD. In endogenous samples, maximal melatonin concentration (C(max)) and time to peak concentration (T(max)) were comparable to those previously published in the literature for typically developing children, and dim light melatonin onsets were captured in the majority of children. In treatment samples (supplemental melatonin), melatonin parameters were also comparable to those previously published for typically developing children. Our findings support that children with ASD and insomnia responsive to low dose melatonin treatment have relatively normal profiles of endogenous and supplemental melatonin.