Light for Parkinson’s Disease?

iStock-522188889Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, with more than 1 million people affected in the US alone.  While many of us associate PD with characteristic trembling hands and a shuffling gait, the constellation of symptoms experienced by those with the disorder is much greater, and includes sleep disturbances, mood changes, depression, and excessive daytime sleepiness, among others. Now comes a study in JAMA Neurology Rick and I discuss on PodMed this week that uses timed light exposure therapy twice daily to ameliorate the sleep disturbance and daytime sleepiness.  And the great news is it worked!

The study was admittedly small, with only 31 patients whose medications were stable and who had excessive daytime sleepiness enrolled. Participants were randomized to receive either bright light or red light for one hour twice daily for two weeks. At the end of that time sleep fragmentation, daytime sleepiness, and time needed to fall asleep all improved in the bright light group.  And as Rick points out in the podcast, the therapy was easy to administer, could be done at home, and certainly bears further study for optimization.

Other studies this week include two from Annals of Internal Medicine: Maintenance of Weight Loss After Initiation of Nutrition TrainingA Randomized Trial and Effectiveness of an Internet-Delivered Exercise and Pain-Coping Skills Training Intervention for Persons With Chronic Knee PainA Randomized Trial, and in the BMJ, Low intensity pulsed ultrasound for bone healing: guideline. Until next week, y'all live well.

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