Melatonin Affects Postural Control in Community-Dwelling Older Adults While Dual Tasking: A Randomized Observation Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The effects of a single 3-mg dose of melatonin on the postural control and cognitive performance of community-dwelling older adults were documented. The testing involved stepping down while performing a cognitive task (a Stroop test). Thirty-four older adults were recruited. Immediately before and 1 hr after taking a dose of melatonin, they completed a single-leg standing task after stepping down with and without a simultaneous Stroop test, and a double-leg standing task. The findings indicated a statistically significant increase in sway area under the dual-tasking condition after taking melatonin (p = .04) and the double-leg standing task (p = .018). However, cognitive performance per se was not affected by the melatonin. Melatonin impairs postural control in older adults but not cognitive performance.

Lui and Tsang are with the Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Chow is with the Dept. of Health and Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong. Wong is with the Dept. of Medicine and Geriatrics, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong.

Address author correspondence to Wai Nam William Tsang at William.Tsang@polyu.edu.hk.
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