Pineal calcification in Alzheimer's disease: an in vivo study using computed tomography

Mahlberg, Richard; Walther, Sebastian; Kalus, Peter; Bohner, Georg; Haedel, Sven; Reischies, Friedel M; Kühl, Klaus-Peter; Hellweg, Rainer; Kunz, Dieter (2008). Pineal calcification in Alzheimer's disease: an in vivo study using computed tomography. Neurobiology of aging, 29(2), pp. 203-9. New York, N.Y.: Elsevier 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2006.10.003

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Melatonin has been postulated to have diverse properties, acting as an antioxidant, a neuroprotector, or a stabilizer within the circadian timing system, and is thus thought to be involved in the aging process and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We used computed tomography to determine the degree of pineal calcification (DOC), an intra-individual melatonin deficit marker, as well as the size of uncalcified pineal tissue, in 279 consecutive memory clinic outpatients (AD: 155; other dementia: 25; mild cognitive impairment: 33; depression: 66) and 37 age-matched controls. The size of uncalcified pineal tissue in patients with AD (mean 0.15 cm(2) [S.D. 0.24]) was significantly smaller than in patients with other types of dementia (0.26 [0.34]; P=0.038), with depression (0.28 [0.34]; P=0.005), or in controls (0.25 [0.31]; P=0.027). Additionally, the DOC in patients with AD (mean 76.2% [S.D. 26.6]) was significantly higher than in patients with other types of dementia (63.7 [34.7]; P=0.042), with depression (60.5 [33.8]; P=0.001), or in controls (64.5 [30.6]; P=0.021). These two findings may reflect two different aspects of melatonin in AD. On the one hand, the absolute amount of melatonin excretion capability, as indicated by uncalcified pineal volume, refers to the antioxidant properties of melatonin. On the other hand, the relative reduction in melatonin production capability in the individual, as indicated by DOC, refers to the circadian properties of melatonin.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Management

UniBE Contributor:

Walther, Sebastian










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:55

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:16

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 41999)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback