Salivary melatonin onset in youth at familial risk for bipolar disorder

Bipolar High Risk Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Melatonin secretion and polysomnography (PSG) were compared among a group of healthy adolescents who were at high familial risk for bipolar disorder (HR) and a second group at low familial risk (LR). Adolescent participants (n = 12) were a mean age 14 ± 2.3 years and included 8 females and 4 males. Saliva samples were collected under standardized condition light (red light) and following a 200 lux light exposure over two consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory. Red Light Melatonin onset (RLMO) was defined as saliva melatonin level exceeding the mean of the first 3 readings plus 2 standard deviations. Polysomnography was also completed during each night. HR youth, relative to LR, experienced a significantly earlier melatonin onset following 200 lux light exposure. Polysomnography revealed that LR youth, relative to HR, spent significantly more time in combined stages 3 and 4 (deep sleep) following red light exposure. Additionally, regardless of the group status (HR or LR), there was no significant difference in Red Light Melatonin Onset recorded at home or in the laboratory, implying its feasibility and reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry research
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Bipolar
  • Melatonin
  • Polysomnography
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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