Light treatment improves sleep, depression, agitation in Alzheimer's

June 4, 2014
Science Daily/American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Light treatment tailored to increase circadian stimulation during the day may improve sleep, depression and agitation in people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, research suggests. 

Results show that exposure to the tailored light treatment during daytime hours for four weeks significantly increased sleep quality, efficiency and total sleep duration. It also significantly reduced scores for depression and agitation.

"It is a simple, inexpensive, non-pharmacological treatment to improve sleep and behavior in Alzheimer's disease and dementia patients," said principal investigator Mariana Figueiro, PhD, associate professor and Light and Health program director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. "The improvements we saw in agitation and depression were very impressive."

The pilot study involved 14 nursing home patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. A light source producing low levels of 300 to 400 lux of a bluish-white light with a color temperature of more than 9000 K was installed in the residents' rooms. Light exposure occurred during daytime hours for a period of four weeks. Light-dark and activity-rest patterns were collected using a calibrated instrument prior to and after the lighting intervention. Measures of sleep quality, depression and agitation also were collected using standardized questionnaires.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604094110.htm

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