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GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY and ISSUES
- American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
- Welcome to the Alzheimer's Association
- Elderly Bibliography
- Administration on Aging - Information on Older Persons and Services for the Elderly
- National Aging Information Center
- ADEAR Center
- Welcome to ADL Digest
- Mayo Clinic on Aging
- Welcome to AgeNet
- ElderWeb Contents
- NH State Mental Health Programs - elderly
- Alzheimer's & Related Dementia Services
- Alzheimer Web Home Page
- Alzheimer's Disease - Doctor's Guide to the Internet
- The New England Centenarian Study Welcome!
- AoA-NAAAA Eldercare Locator DB
Here are three studies on light therapy in dementia:
Lovell, B. B., S. Ancoli-Israel, et al. (1995). “Effect of bright light treatment on agitated behavior in institutionalized elderly subjects.” Psychiatry Res 57(1): 7-12.
This study examined whether exposure to bright light treatment would reduce agitated behavior in institutionalized elderly subjects. Six demented elderly subjects (mean age = 89.2 years) living in a skilled nursing facility were studied. Light (2500 lx) was administered for 2 hours in the morning for two 10-day periods. The Bliwise Agitation Behavior Rating Scale was used to rate agitated behavior once every 15 min between 16:00 h and 20:00 h during 3 days of baseline, the light treatment periods, and 5 days of posttreatment follow-up evaluation. The entire protocol was then repeated in an ABABA design. A planned comparison revealed a significant difference between light treatment days and nontreatment days, with less agitation being observed on treatment days. The study suggests the efficacy of the clinical use of bright light treatment to reduce agitation.
Mishima, K., M. Okawa, et al. (1994). “Morning bright light therapy for sleep and behavior disorders in elderly patients with dementia.” Acta Psychiatr Scand 89(1): 1-7.
Fourteen inpatients with dementia showing sleep and behavior disorders (average age = 75 years), and 10 control elderly people (average age = 75 years) were carefully observed for 2 months. Four weeks of morning light therapy markedly improved sleep and behavior disorders in the dementia group. The measurement of sleep time and the serum melatonin values suggests that sleep and behavior disorders in the dementia group are related to decreases in the amplitude of the sleep-wake rhythm and decreases in the levels of melatonin secretions. Morning light therapy significantly increased total and nocturnal sleep time and significantly decreased daytime sleep time. These results indicate that morning bright light is a powerful synchronizer that can normalize disturbed sleep and substantially reduce the frequency of behavior disorders in elderly people with dementia.
Van Someren, E. J., A. Kessler, et al. (1997). “Indirect bright light improves circadian rest-activity rhythm disturbances in demented patients.” Biol Psychiatry 41(9): 955-63.
Light is known to be an important modulator of circadian rhythms. We tested the hypothesis than an enduring increase in the daytime environmental illumination level improves rest-activity rhythm disturbances in demented patients. Actigraphy was performed before, during, and after 4 weeks of increased illumination in the living rooms of 22 patients with dementia clinically diagnosed as probable Alzheimer's disease, multi-infarct dementia, dementia associated with alcoholism, or normal pressure hydrocephalus. The results indicated that during increased illumination, the stability of the rest-activity rhythm increased in patients with intact vision, but not in visually impaired patients.
- More on Light Therapy here
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Last updated April 25, 1999
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