As reviewed in the previous chapter above, tryptophan utilization for serotonin synthesis increases the necessary precursor for the melatoninergic pathways. The changes and susceptibility factors associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) regulate, and can be regulated by, the melatoninergic pathways. In this chapter we look at the role of the melatoninergic pathways in more detail in relation to changes and interventions relevant to AD.
Many pharmaceutical and dietary factors, with efficacy in AD and/or AD models, regulate the melatoninergic pathways, either directly or indirectly. As such, much of the experimental data pertaining to regulators of the etiology, course and treatment of AD, such as zinc, selenium, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and valproate, may be intimately intertwined with the melatoninergic pathways.
In this chapter, we review the role of the melatoninergic pathways in AD, highlighting its previously little recognised involvement in a host of susceptibility factors and treatment approaches. More insight as to the relevant changes occurring in AD should allow treatments to better target relevant biochemical targets, thereby improving the management of this poorly conceptualized, and therefore poorly treated, disease.