Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info

Dementia Slowed by Light Therapy

Monday, November 17, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: dementia, health news, Natural News

Most Viewed Articles

(NaturalNews) The cognitive decline caused by dementia can be slowed by as simple a measure as brighter daytime lighting, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

One of the most difficult symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia for caregivers to cope with is the disruption of the patient's circadian rhythms - the day/night cycle that tells them when to sleep and when to wake. Because the hormone melatonin is known to play a role in regulating circadian rhythms, as is exposure to bright daytime light, researchers designed an experiment to see if these factors could influence the progression of dementia.

The study was conducted on 189 residents of several different care homes. The majority of the patients had been diagnosed with dementia.

The researchers installed bright lighting in six of the care homes, and turned it on every day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. At both these homes and those without the extra lighting, some of the patients were given melatonin and some were not.

Compared with patients that had received neither melatonin nor extra light, the patients treated with melatonin alone showed better sleep patterns, but at the cost of a worse mood and increased social withdrawal. Patients receiving both melatonin and daytime light, however, had better sleep patterns without any negative side effects.

Patients treated with light alone experienced a 19 percent drop in depressive symptoms and a 5 percent lower rate of cognitive decline.

"Although 5 percent may not sound like a huge amount, it compares well with treatments such as Aricept designed to slow the progression of the illness," said Michael Hastings of the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge, who was not involved in the study. "Over the course of Alzheimer's, it could represent six months, and you have to remember that the light therapy is completely non-invasive, and melatonin is a very gentle drug."

Sources for this story include: news.bbc.co.uk.

Join the Health Ranger's FREE email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time. | Learn more...

comments powered by Disqus

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Get alerted on heavy metals and pesticide test results for foods and supplements

Natural News is about to begin releasing lab test results for off-the-shelf food, supplement and pet food products, covering heavy metals, nutritive minerals, pesticides and herbicides. These details will be released exclusively to Natural News email newsletter subscribers (FREE) and will NOT be publicly posted on the website. To be alerted, join our free email newsletter now, and watch for lab test results in the weeks ahead.

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our email announcement list (but don't use gmail). Your privacy is protected and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you don't join our email list, you may never see our valuable content again via Facebook, Google or YouTube. CENSORSHIP has now reached EXTREME levels across the 'net. The truth is being suffocated. Subscribe now if you want to escape the delusional bubble of false reality being pushed by Google and Facebook.

Once you click subscribe, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free subscription.