Improving Sleep for Dementia Patients with Light Therapy: A Review of the Benefits – 24vita

2024-02-22 08:35:00

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    People with dementia often have problems sleeping. To alleviate and improve this, a simple remedy could help.

    Dementia: Simple measures in everyday life can help with Alzheimer’s

    The majority of dementia patients suffer from sleep problems. The sleep-wake rhythm often gets mixed up. ©

    In her in the specialist magazine Plos One appeared Review paper Researchers from the Chinese Weifang Medical University evaluated 15 studies in which around 600 dementia patients were repeatedly brought into a daylight environment using special lamps. In the neurodegenerative disease, nerve cells and their connections die in the brain. The consequences of this are, among other things, cognitive damage and impairment of the sleep center in the brain. Normally, this sets the internal clock to a 24-hour rhythm and uses daylight to control waking phases and sleeping times. For people with dementia, however, the impaired sleep center blurs the difference between day and night, for example, as the damage to the brain exacerbates these problems.

    The meta-study showed that light therapy achieved measurable effects and had positive effects on sleeping habits. The patients treated with the light fell asleep less often during the day and woke up less often at night. As a result, they had a more restful sleep overall. At the same time, their wake-sleep rhythm also improved, as after a while they became tired at a similar time every day and woke up at the same time. It is believed that the light therapies stimulate the nerve cells that are attacked in dementia patients, which may then regenerate to some extent.

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    Dementia: Light therapy can lead to cognitive improvements

    The regeneration was not only evident in the sleep center area: according to the analysis, some patients also experienced cognitive improvements. In addition, some of those affected experienced relief from mood disorders (aggressiveness or listlessness), which can also be typical of dementia. According to the scientists, light therapies therefore “have the potential to be a promising therapeutic option”.

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    This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It in no way replaces a visit to the doctor. Our editorial team is not allowed to answer individual questions about medical conditions.

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