Light therapy for Parkinson's disorder.
One of the most common manifestations of Parkinson's is sleep disturbances which are attributed to adverse effects of Parkinson's medications, other PD symptoms and neurodegeneration of central sleep regulatory areas. There is also accumulating evidence that the disease directly disrupts the circadian system as well.
According to recent findings from a randomized controlled trial involving adult patients with Parkinson's disease- related sleep disturbances, positive results were found for the use of light therapy. They found that bright light significantly improved excessive daytime sleepiness which was measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and self-reported alertness during wake time. The same study found that the light therapy not only reduced daytime sleepiness, but also improved sleep quality, decreased overnight awakenings, shortened sleep latency and enhanced daytime alertness and activity level, and even improved motor symptoms.
Other studies have previously found that exposure to bright light in Parkinson's patients improved depression, bradykinesia, rigidity, dyskinesias, and insomnia in PD. It wad also found to improve overall PD severity with an effect lasting about 2-weeks after treatment was discontinued.
Naturopathic medical scope of practice includes light therapy.
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Where can I get bright light therapy? The bright light device used in the study is manufactured by Valkee Ltd. from Oulu, Finland. www.valkee.org
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