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Bright light good for dementia patients

June 10, 2008 2:24:26 PM PDT
Better light can lift the spirits of dementia patients. Dutch researchers found brightening the lights in combination with daily doses of the sleep hormone melatonin improved a dementia patient's mood, sleep and overall well-being.

The study found exposure to sun through large windows and from added fluorescents decreased mental deterioration by 5 percent. Patients also experienced a 19 percent reduction in depressive symptoms.

Doctors say the most surprising finding was bright light and melatonin combined worked about as well as Alzheimer's drugs.

The study is reported in the Journal of American Medical Association.


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