Saliva cortisol, melatonin levels and circadian rhythm alterations in Chinese primary school children with dyslexia


Medicine: February 2020 – Volume 99 – Issue 6 – p e19098

doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000019098


Cortisol is the main end product of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland (HPA axis), and melatonin (MT) has a regulating effect on HPA axis, and both are closely related to individual behavior and cognitive function. We aimed to evaluate cortisol and MT roles on children dyslexia in this study.

A total of 72 dyslexic children and 72 controls were recruited in this study. Saliva samples were collected in the morning, afternoon, and night, respectively. The levels of saliva cortisol and MT were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Differences of cortisol and MT levels between dyslexic and normal children were compared, and the variation trend was also analyzed by dynamic monitoring in 3 time points.

The levels of salivary cortisol and MT in children with dyslexia were all lower than those in normal children whether in the morning (7:30-8:30 am ), at afternoon (15:30-16:30 pm ) or at night (21:30-22:30 pm ) (all P < .001). Compared with normal children, the circadian rhythm variations of salivary cortisol and MT in dyslexic children disappeared and became disordered. The salivary cortisol and MT levels in children with dyslexia were declined throughout the day; and the circadian rhythm was disordered or disappeared.

The results suggest that cortisol and MT levels and their circadian rhythm may affect children dyslexia, but the mechanisms need further exploration.,_melatonin_levels_and_circadian.51.aspx