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Chronobiol Int. 1998 Nov;15(6):647-54.

Randomized, dim light controlled, crossover test of morning bright light therapy for rest-activity rhythm disorders in patients with vascular dementia and dementia of Alzheimer's type.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Akita University School of Medicine, Japan.


The authors compared the therapeutic effect of morning bright and dim light exposure on rest-activity (R-A) rhythm disorders in patients with vascular dementia (VD) and patients with dementia of Alzheimer's type (DAT). Participants in this study were 12 patients with VD (M/F = 5/7; average age = 81 years) and 10 patients with DAT (M/F = 4/6; average age = 78 years). They were exposed to 2 weeks of bright light (BL; 5000-8000 lux) and 2 weeks of dim light (DL; 300 lux) in the morning (09:00-11:00) in a randomized crossover design in which the 2-week treatment period took place between pretreatment (1 week) and posttreatment (1 week) periods. Continuous R-A monitoring was performed at 1-minute intervals throughout the study using an actigraph around the nondominant wrist. The BL exposure for 2 weeks induced a significant reduction in both nighttime activity and percentages of nighttime activity to total activity compared with the pretreatment period, as well as compared with the DL condition in the VD group, but not in the DAT group. These findings support the assumption that the therapeutic efficacies of morning BL exposure are prominent in VD patients and are mainly due to its photic effect rather than nonphotic effects such as the intensification of social interaction accompanying light therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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