Scientists are shedding new light on treatments to potentially have an impact on Alzheimer’s disease: light therapy. The benefits of light are only just starting to be tapped, and already are exhibiting some intriguing and encouraging results.
For instance, MIT analysts are experimenting with a form of flickering light Alzheimer’s disease therapy, in which the visual cortex of mice is exhibiting a short-term decrease in beta amyloid plaques. And even though there’s no indication as of yet on how this will correlate to human studies, it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.
An additional study with really positive results in seniors with Alzheimer’s is exposure to light which has a blue tint , which is thought to help normalize the body’s circadian rhythm – bringing about better sleeping patterns. Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center at the New York Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, along with geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Guerman Ermolenko, tested the effects of blue light on patients with Alzheimer’s who were having trouble sleeping at night. The seniors were exposed to blue light during the day. After the treatment, in each case, the patients were able to sleep through the night.
Oddly enough, the thinking behind these outcomes comes from the concept that the blue light imitates the blue sky, encouraging our circadian rhythm to be in wake-up mode, and that it may also increase our levels of melatonin through evening – resulting in more wakefulness during the daytime and a more restful night’s sleep.
Something to be aware of: a few Alzheimer’s patients have become over-stimulated by being exposed to blue light. It is necessary to attentively monitor seniors’ responses, and increase yellow light accordingly in the event that unwanted side effects are noticed.
At Home Matters, as we keep an eye on further Alzheimer’s disease treatment developments, we’re aiding those with dementia, along with the families who care for them, with a selection of individualized dementia care services to improve quality of life. Home Matters’s caregivers are thoughtfully trained in dementia care and learn the unique approach required to gently encourage someone with Alzheimer’s. We work hard to ensure seniors are safe and living life to their highest potential at all times. Contact us to learn more.