Effect of Bright Light Treatment On Elders In a Long Term Care Environment (BrightLights)

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Penn State Health

Status

Completed

Conditions

Behavioral Responses to Bright Light Therapy in Elders

Treatments

Other: exposure to bright light
Other: low luminosity red light

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT01042587
32704

Details and patient eligibility

About

The investigators hypothesize that significant exposure to artificial morning bright light (approximately 200 lux of primarily blue light at eye level for thirty minutes daily) as compared to sham bright red light (placebo) will: improve sleep quality improve cognitive scores improve depression scores improve quality of life scores.

Full description

Bright light therapy has been shown to improve depression and insomnia in multiple studies. These are common conditions among elders, particularly those residing in long term care environments. Bright light therapy has been inadequately studied in the geriatric population. We will show that a groups of twenty elders can simultaneous be exposed to bright light and that it will result in improvements in multiple realms of behavior and quality of life. Elders will be tested with a number of neuropsychological test batteries prior to exposure to bright light and again at the end of a four week exposure. Some subjects will have daytime and night time activity levels monitored with actigraphy. Cortisol and melatonin levels will be obtained prior to and at the end of the exposure period.

Enrollment

32 patients

Sex

All

Ages

65+ years old

Volunteers

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • residents in Masonic Villages, Elizabethtown, PA long term care
  • ability to give informed consent and complete the neuropsychological tests

Exclusion criteria

  • blindness
  • severe illness expected to preclude the ability to complete treatment
  • moderate to severe dementia that precludes the ability to complete testing
  • light sensitivity making treatment to light therapy uncomfortable

Trial design

32 participants in 2 patient groups

bright light
Active Comparator group
Description:
Bright light has been shown to entrain circadian rhythm so our treatment arm will use thirty minutes of early morning exposure to bright blue light for a four week period.
Treatment:
Other: exposure to bright light
red light
Sham Comparator group
Description:
Low level red light is a weak entrainment stimulus of circadian rhythm. Elders in the control group will be exposed to low level red light as a placebo for thirty minutes daily for four weeks.
Treatment:
Other: low luminosity red light

Trial contacts and locations

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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