This systematic review examines the effectiveness of light therapy in improving cognition, activities of daily living (ADLs), sleep, challenging behaviour, and psychiatric symptoms in people with dementia.
The authors could find no evidence of any effect of light therapy on cognitive function, sleep, challenging behaviour (such as agitation), or psychiatric symptoms associated with dementia. They conclude that the evidence is insufficient currently to justify the use of bright light therapy in dementia. Future research might concentrate on a possible weak effect of light therapy on improving ADLs, and investigating any underlying biological mechanisms which might justify light therapy as an approach to treatment.
Forbes, D. Blake, CM. Thiessen, EJ. [et al] (2014). Light therapy for improving cognition, activities of daily living, sleep, challenging behaviour, and psychiatric disturbances in dementia. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. February 26th 2014; Issue 2: No. CD003946. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).