Age-Related Illness – Part 2.7 of a 7 Part Series
Welcome back to our ‘Physiological Need for Light’ series! Today, we look about a connection between light and the age-related illnesses, Alzheimer’s.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia [ADRD] often sleep during the day and are awake at night
Night time wandering causes burdens on caretakers
ADRD individuals experience lower light levels, exhibit lower activity levels and had greater disruption of their natural circadian rhythms compared to healthy older adults
LRC performed the first field study to examine the synchrony between the circadian light pattern and the activity response pattern to assess circadian disruption
Circadian rhythms are governed by the human body’s master clock in the Suprachiasmatic nuclei [SCN]
The retina synchronizes the SCN to the 24 hour solar day
Physicians will soon be able to predict the optimum timing of light therapy to re-sync the circadian phase with the solar day
Treatment could include going outdoors for 15 minutes and sitting in front of a light box fitted with blue LEDs for a prescribed amount of time
Exposure to blue LEDs for 30 minutes during the morning hours (between 8:00 and 11:00am) improves nighttime sleep, daytime wakefulness, and motor restlessness in ADRD patients
Join us next time in the Physiological Need for Light series as we discuss a device used to record light and activity levels!