Melatonin is best known as a sleep hormone because of its action controlling the circadian cycle. But melatonin also has antioxidant properties, and may have an important anti-aging role.
A recent study looked at artificially aged mice to determine the effects of melatonin on aging. Such mice are used as a model to study the fundamental mechanisms of aging because they develop markers also found in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:
“... [T]reatment with melatonin ... was able to reduce oxidative stress and the neurodegenerative calpain/Cdk5 pathway ... and ... markers of cerebral aging and neurodegeneration ... indicating the neuroprotective and anti-aging effect of melatonin.”