Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Use Of Bright Lighting May Improve Dementia Symptoms For Elderly Persons

Date:
June 11, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
The use of daytime bright lighting to improve the circadian rhythm of elderly persons was associated with modest improvement in symptoms of dementia, and the addition of the use of melatonin resulted in improved sleep.

The use of daytime bright lighting to improve the circadian rhythm of elderly persons was associated with modest improvement in symptoms of dementia, and the addition of the use of melatonin resulted in improved sleep, according to a new study.

Related Articles


"In elderly patients with dementia, cognitive decline is frequently accompanied by disturbances of mood, behavior, sleep, and activities of daily living, which increase caregiver burden and the risk of institutionalization," the author write. These symptoms have been associated with disturbances of the circadian rhythm (the regular recurrence, in cycles of about 24 hours, of biological processes or activities). "The circadian timing system is highly sensitive to environmental light and the hormone melatonin and may not function optimally in the absence of their synchronizing effects. In elderly patients with dementia, synchronization may be [diminished] if light exposure and melatonin production are reduced."

Rixt F. Riemersma-van der Lek, M.D., of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a trial at 12 elderly group care facilities in the Netherlands that evaluated the effects of up to 3.5 years of daily supplementation of bright light and/or melatonin on a number of health outcomes, including symptoms of dementia and sleep disturbances. The study included 189 facility residents, average age 85.8 years; 90 percent were female and 87 percent had dementia.

Six of the facilities had bright lighting installed in ceiling-mounted fixtures. Lights were on daily between approximately 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participants were randomized to receive evening melatonin (2.5 mg) or placebo and participated an average of 15 months (maximum period of 3.5 years).

The researchers found that bright light lessened cognitive deterioration by a relative 5 percent, reduced depressive symptoms by a relative 19 percent and diminished the gradual increase in functional limitations by a relative 53 percent.

Melatonin reduced the time to fall asleep by a relative 19 percent and increased total sleep duration by 6 percent, but adversely affected caregiver ratings of withdrawn behavior and mood expressions. The addition of bright light improved the adverse effect on mood. In combination with bright light, melatonin reduced aggressive behavior by a relative 9 percent.

"In conclusion, the simple measure of increasing the illumination level in group care facilities [improved] symptoms of disturbed cognition, mood, behavior, functional abilities, and sleep. Melatonin improved sleep, but its long-term use by elderly individuals can only be recommended in combination with light to suppress adverse effects on mood. The long-term application of whole-day bright light did not have adverse effects, on the contrary, and could be considered for use in care facilities for elderly individuals with dementia," the authors write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rixt F. Riemersma-van der Lek; Dick F. Swaab; Jos Twisk; Elly M. Hol; Witte J. G. Hoogendijk; Eus J. W. Van Someren. Effect of Bright Light and Melatonin on Cognitive and Noncognitive Function in Elderly Residents of Group Care Facilities: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2008;299(22):2642-2655 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Use Of Bright Lighting May Improve Dementia Symptoms For Elderly Persons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610161247.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, June 11). Use Of Bright Lighting May Improve Dementia Symptoms For Elderly Persons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610161247.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Use Of Bright Lighting May Improve Dementia Symptoms For Elderly Persons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610161247.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins