Saturday August 26, 2017

How is melatonin regulated in people who are blind? Quirks Question

People who are completely blind still have a melatonin cycle, but it's desynchronized from the daily 24-hour light / dark cycle since they cannot perceive light.

People who are completely blind still have a melatonin cycle, but it's desynchronized from the daily 24-hour light / dark cycle since they cannot perceive light. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

Listen 3:55

This week's Quirks Question comes to us from Reed Poynter in Langley, BC, who asks: 

"As a totally blind person with detached retinas, how is my melatonin level regulated? If, for me, the lights are always out, as it were, why am I not always sleeping? What research has been done in this area?"

To answer this question, we reached Dr. Parveen Bhatti, a Canadian native epidemiologist now working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. 

If you have a question get in touch: quirks@cbc.ca - Facebook - Twitter