Personalized Light Therapy Shows Promise in Improving Sleep for Parkinson’s Disease Patients

A recent study aimed to address the need for effective non-pharmacological treatments for non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD), particularly focusing on sleep disturbances. The study conducted a randomized, double-blind trial comparing two light therapies personalized to individuals’ chronotypes. One therapy mimicked natural daylight (Day Mel), while the other specifically targeted retinal melanopsin cells (Enhanced Mel) to address circadian system deficits. Both therapies were administered for 30 minutes daily over four weeks, with outcomes measured through polysomnography (PSG) and dim light melatonin secretion onset (DLMO). Although there were no significant differences between the groups, both therapies demonstrated improvements in deep sleep phases. The findings suggest that personalized light therapy, particularly controlled indoor daylight, could be beneficial for improving sleep in early to moderate PD. Further research is needed to explore this approach, especially in advanced PD stages. The study was supported by various funding sources, including The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and Shake IT Up Australia.

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