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Light can slow onset of dementia, study shows

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Bright lights can be used to slow cognitive and non-cognitive function in patients with dementia, according to a study.
Results from a trial involving 189 residents in 12 group care facilities in the Netherlands showed bright lights attenuated cognitive deterioration by 0.9 points on average on a mini-mental state examination.

It also ameliorated depressive symptoms by 1.5 points on the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia or by a relative 19%.

Patients were randomly assigned to a group subjected to bright light, dim light, doses of melatonin or placebo for an average of 15 months.

Melatonin reduced sleep onset latency but was associated with withdrawal behaviour.
Journal of the American Medical Association (2008) 299: 2642-2655
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