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  • Writer's pictureSophie Bostock, PhD

Can light therapy help patients with Alzheimer's disease?

I'm a fan of light therapy for tackling the winter blues, so I was intrigued to read a new review exploring the potential benefits for Alzheimer's disease patients.

Researchers from Weifang Medical University, China, combined the results of 15 trials which used light therapy (vs usual care) in 598 patients with Alzheimer's disease in a systematic review and meta analysis.

Light therapy was found to:

  • improve sleep efficiency

  • Improve sleep quality

  • improve the stability of sleep patterns

  • Alleviate depression

  • Reduce agitation

  • Lower caregiver burden

The intensity and duration of light treatment differed in different studies, but a typical protocol would be to sit with a light box for 30 minutes at the same time each morning.

While further research is needed, the research does suggest that light therapy is a promising approach for improving sleep and quality of life for AD patients and their carers.

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