Datum: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 14:28:22 EDT




To All:    Read the following information keeping in mind recent postings regarding adverse chemical reactions (including those naturally-produced) --  specifically,  the increasingly serious issue of prescription medication black box warnings and recalls. 


"Epilepsy," involves changes in electrical activity in the brain.    This is actually a puzzle, for which the answers exist -- not only re the link between TGA (trans global amnesia), epilepsy and the reduction of melatonin -- but the link to close, chronic prolonged EMF/EMR exposures at night.    All of this further supports the urgency of providing prudent avoidance information regarding the need to reduce EMF exposures!!!


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Journal Watch General Medicine Alert for July 24, 2007


Summary and Comment

Epilepsy Can Cause Isolated Transient Amnesia

Consider the diagnosis of nonconvulsive epilepsy in patients with unexplained episodic memory loss.

When a patient presents with an episode of transient memory loss without other neurologic symptoms, the diagnosis "transient global amnesia" (TGA) is often made, but the etiology is often unclear. Researchers in the U.K. describe 50 patients, recruited over 18 months, in whom epilepsy was thought to be the cause of otherwise unexplained transient amnesia, resulting in the more specific diagnosis of "transient epileptic amnesia" (TEA).

All patients had recurrent episodes of amnesia in which other cognitive functions were judged by witnesses to have remained intact. Diagnostic criteria for epilepsy were presence of at least one of these conditions: (1) epileptiform abnormalities on electroencephalogram (EEG), (2) presence of other clinical features of epilepsy such as lip-smacking or olfactory hallucinations, and (3) clear response to anticonvulsant therapy. Each of the three conditions was met by 18, 36, and 48 patients, respectively. Mean age at onset was 62, median attack frequency was 12 per year, and median duration of amnestic episodes was 30 to 60 minutes. Compared with age-matched controls, patients had subtle long-term memory problems on standardized tests. A diagnosis of epilepsy was initially considered in only 12 of these patients.

Comment: This is the largest published case series to date of patients with TEA. Because only 18 of the patients had documented epileptiform activity on EEG, one might challenge whether the diagnosis of TEA was certain in all cases. Nevertheless, this report demonstrates that clinicians should consider the diagnosis of nonconvulsive epilepsy in patients with unexplained episodic memory loss.

— Allan S. Brett, MD

Published in Journal Watch General Medicine July 24, 2007


Butler CR et al. The syndrome of transient epileptic amnesia. Ann Neurol 2007 Jun; 61:587-98.

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While the following information  is an advertisement regarding melatonin, rather one of the many scientific studies re melatonin, their is a nice outline with brief explanations re benefits and other issues including possible concern in certain instances.  Even tho links to specific references are not provided, the list of various health problems can easily be applied to available studies (although time-consuming). 

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Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain and is important in the regulation of many hormones in the body. Among its key roles, melatonin controls the body's circadian rhythm, an internal 24-hour time-keeping system that plays an important role in when we fall asleep and when we wake up. Darkness stimulates the release of melatonin and light suppresses its activity. Normal melatonin cycles are disrupted when we are exposed to excessive light in the evening or too little light during the daytime. For example, jet lag, shift work, and poor vision can disrupt melatonin cycles. In addition, some experts claim that exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields (as is common in household appliances) may disrupt normal cycles and production of melatonin.

Melatonin is also one of the hormones that controls the timing and release of female reproductive hormones. As a result, melatonin helps determine when menstruation begins, the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles, and when menstruation ends (menopause). Many researchers also believe that levels of melatonin in the body are related to the aging process. For example, young children have the highest levels of nighttime melatonin and these levels are thought to diminish progressively with age. This decline likely contributes to why many older adults suffer from disrupted sleep patterns and tend to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier in the morning than when they were younger. However, emerging research is bringing the idea of diminished melatonin levels in the elderly into some question. Therefore, those considering use of this supplement should first talk to their healthcare provider about having blood levels of melatonin checked.

In addition to its hormone actions, melatonin also has strong antioxidant properties and preliminary evidence suggests that it may help strengthen the immune system. Because melatonin is a potent hormone, it's advisable to check with a healthcare provider before using it as an antioxidant supplement.


Although results are still controversial, studies suggest that melatonin supplements help induce sleep in people with disrupted circadian rhythms (such as those suffering from jet lag or poor vision or those who work the night shift) and those with low melatonin levels (such as some elderly and individuals with schizophrenia). In fact, a recent review of scientific studies found that melatonin supplements help prevent jet lag, particularly in people who cross five or more time zones.

A few studies suggest that when taken for short periods of time (days to weeks) melatonin is significantly more effective than placebo in decreasing the amount of time required to fall asleep, increasing the number of sleeping hours, and boosting daytime alertness. In addition, at least one study suggests that melatonin may improve the quality of life in people who suffer from insomnia and some experts suggest that melatonin may be of value for children with learning disabilities who suffer from insomnia.

Although research suggests that melatonin may be modestly effective for treating certain types of insomnia as described, few studies have investigated whether melatonin supplements are safe and effective over the long term.

Melatonin has been shown in laboratory studies to stimulate cells called osteoblasts that promote bone growth. Given that melatonin levels may also be lower in some older individuals such as postmenopausal women, current studies are investigating whether or not decreased melatonin levels contribute to the development of osteoporosis, and whether treatment with melatonin can help prevent this condition.

Melatonin supplements may benefit menopausal women by promoting and sustaining sleep. Peri- or postmenopausal women who use melatonin supplements to regulate sleep patterns should do so only for a short period of time since long term effects, as indicated earlier, are not known.

In one small study of 10 people with a particular type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (depressive symptoms that develop during the winter months when exposure to light is lessened), those who received melatonin supplements had significant improvement in their symptoms compared to those who received placebo. Given the small size of this study, however, more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn regarding use of melatonin for either seasonal affective disorder or any other type of depression. This is particularly true since one study from the 1970s suggested that symptoms of depression may worsen when taking melatonin.

.Eating Disorders
Melatonin levels may play a role in the symptoms of anorexia. For example, abnormally low melatonin levels may cause depressed mood in people with this condition. However, it is not known whether supplementation will change the course of the disease. Some researchers speculate that low melatonin levels in people with anorexia may indicate who is likely to benefit from antidepressant medications (a treatment often used for eating disorders

Breast Cancer
Several studies indicate that melatonin levels may be linked with breast cancer risk. For example, women with breast cancer tend to have lower levels of melatonin than those without the disease. In addition, laboratory experiments have found that low levels of melatonin stimulate the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells and adding melatonin to these cells inhibits their growth. Preliminary laboratory and clinical evidence also suggests that melatonin may enhance the effects of some chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer. In a study that included a small number of women with breast cancer, melatonin (administered 7 days before beginning chemotherapy) prevented the lowering of platelets in the blood. This is a common complication of chemotherapy, known as thrombocytopenia, that can lead to bleeding.

In another study of a small group of women whose breast cancer was not improving with tamoxifen (a commonly used chemotherapy medication), the addition of melatonin caused tumors to modestly shrink in over 28% of the women. People with breast cancer who are considering taking melatonin supplements should first consult a healthcare provider who can help construct a comprehensive treatment approach to be administered together with conventional care.

Prostate Cancer
Similar to breast cancer, studies of people with prostate cancer suggest that melatonin levels are lower compared to men without cancer, and test tube studies have found that melatonin inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. In one small-scale study, melatonin (when used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment) improved survival rates in 9 out of 14 patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Interestingly, meditation appears to be a valuable addition to the treatment of prostate cancer. The positive effects of meditation may be due to a rise in levels of melatonin in the body. Although these early results are intriguing, more research is needed.

Cancer-related Weight Loss
Weight loss and malnutrition are of great concern for people with cancer. In one study of 100 people with advanced cancer that had spread throughout the body, those who received melatonin supplements were less likely to lose weight than those who did not receive the supplement.

Some physicians use melatonin to help treat sarcoidosis (a condition where fibrous tissue develops in the lungs and other tissues). Two case reports suggest that melatonin may be helpful for those who do not improve from conventional steroid treatment.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
In a group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, melatonin levels were low compared to healthy individuals without arthritis. When treated with the anti-inflammatory medication indomethacin, melatonin levels returned to normal. The chemical structure of melatonin resembles indomethacin, so researchers speculate that melatonin supplements may work similarly to this medication for people with rheumatoid arthritis. This theory has not been tested, however.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Although melatonin supplementation does not appear to improve the key behavioral symptoms of ADHD, it may be effective in managing sleep disturbances in children with this condition

Preliminary research suggests that melatonin reduces the number of seizures in certain animal species and may reduce seizures in people with epilepsy. However, not all experts agree with these findings. In fact, concern has been raised that melatonin (1 to 5 mg per day) may actually induce seizures, particularly in children with neurologic disorders. Given that the research is in a very premature stage, some experts suggest that melatonin should be administered by healthcare providers to only a select group of people who suffer from seizures that cannot be controlled by any other type of therapy.

A few small-scale studies suggest that gels, lotions, or ointments containing melatonin may protect against redness (erythema) and other skin damage when used either alone or in combination with topical vitamin E prior to exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

Viral Encephalitis
Although melatonin has not been scientifically evaluated for use in treating human encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), some studies suggest that this supplement may protect animals from serious complications associated with the condition and even increase their survival rates. In one study of mice infected with Venezuelan equine virus (a type of organism that causes viral encephalitis), melatonin supplements significantly lowered the presence of virus in the blood and reduced death rates by more than 80%. More studies are needed, however, to determine whether similar treatment may offer the same protection to people with viral encephalitis.

Heart Disease
Low levels of melatonin in the blood have been associated with heart disease, but it is not clear whether melatonin levels are low in response to having heart disease or if low levels of melatonin predispose people to developing this condition. In addition, several studies in rats suggest that melatonin may protect the hearts of these animals from the damaging effects of ischemia (decreased blood flow and oxygen that often leads to a heart attack). It is not known from this information, however, whether melatonin supplements may help prevent or treat heart disease in people. More research and scientific information is needed before conclusions can be drawn.

There is currently no recommended dose range for melatonin supplements. Different people will be more sensitive or less sensitive to its effects. For those especially sensitive, lower doses may work effectively while a higher dose could cause anxiety and irritability. The best approach for any condition is to begin with very low doses of melatonin that match the amounts our bodies normally make on a daily basis (< 0.3 mg) and keep the dose to a minimum. Your healthcare provider can help guide what is best and most appropriate, including how to increase the amount as needed.........   [ skip  ] ....... 

[ Note:   Emphasis re epilepsy by joanne mueller ...research file re statin increased free radical damage due to combination of the medication and EMF/EMR from appliances and telephone equipment on nightstands and headboards -- CLOSE, CHRONIC PROLONGED EXPOSURES.....ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT...THE MELATONIN LINK, ETC.  .......jcm 7-25-07.....]

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I do not necessarily agree with many of the comments in the advertisement re melatonin -- I do know that Dr. Russel Reiter ( book, "Melatonin") provides more specific information that much more strongly supports the importance of taking melatonin and that it would be difficult to overdose, etc.   As I have reported numerous times, my husband and I wouldn't think of going to bed without taking melatonin and many of our family members do the same.  I have cited many instances of moving electric items away from beds with remarkable improvement occuring shortly thereafter.   We know EMF's lower one's natural production of melatonin.........   Also, Scientist Roger Coghill provides natural radioprotective nutraceuticals:    

I have not commented on breast cancer info above re melatonin albeit equally important, only because of need to  "focus" on epilepsy and TGA as related to existing studies re EMF's and melatonin.       Take care everyone   -   Joanne

Joanne C. Mueller
Guinea Pigs "R" Us
731 - 123rd Avenue N.W.
Minneapolis, Minnesota  55448-2127 USA
Phone:   763-755-6114
Email:  ( 7-25-07 )


All truth goes through three stages: first it is ridiculed:
then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident.
- Schopenhauer






I forgot to include an important reference.   Dr. Duane Graveline (astronaut, medical doctor, researcher) has an excellent book re dangers of statins.   He experienced two incidents of TGA a year apart.  His doctor at NASA insisted he try taking Lipitor the year following a dramatic episode he describes in his book and on his website.   Another episode of TGA occurred, hence, Dr. Graveline's focus on informing the public of the dangers of not only taking statins but that cholesterol is actually protective of the brain. 


Dr. Graveline provides detailed explanations re cellular changes/mechanisms, etc. in his book (or books).....    To my knowledge, he has not addressed the issue of sleeping close to electric appliances and telephone equipment.  He does mention radiation on his website as it applies to exposures in space.   I do not recall whether his excellent website refers to epileptic changes, etc.    See:  .


Joanne C. Mueller
Guinea Pigs "R" Us
731 - 123rd Avenue N.W.
Minneapolis, Minnesota  55448-2127 USA
Phone:   763-755-6114
Email:  ( 7-25-07 )  My birthday.... age 71




ARE YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN GUINEA PIGS?    Letter 7-22-04 by Joanne Mueller