Breaking News
March 22, 2018 - New ocular inserts allow patient’s cornea to absorb more antibiotics
March 22, 2018 - FDA Alert: NeuroBlate Probe by Monteris Medical: Letter to Health Care Providers, Class I Recall
March 22, 2018 - Morning Break: Booze Study Brouhaha; Stem Cells for MS; Big Debt Problem
March 22, 2018 - New wearable tech from Western may hold big benefits for people with Parkinson’s
March 22, 2018 - Immune cells can repopulate in the retina after elimination, mice study shows
March 22, 2018 - Research provides better understanding of how cancerous cells behave in low oxygen
March 22, 2018 - Menopausal hormone therapy taken soon after menopause may benefit the brain
March 22, 2018 - Booze Boosts Your Heart Rate
March 22, 2018 - Skeptical Cardiologist: Classifying Heart Failure
March 22, 2018 - Instead of nagging your spouse to lose weight, try going on a diet yourself
March 22, 2018 - Neem Biotech to share findings on cystic fibrosis biofilm disruption at ECFS Basic Science Conference
March 22, 2018 - Study uncovers new genetic cause of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy
March 22, 2018 - ENDO: Big Breakfast May Help in Diabetics
March 22, 2018 - I’m not overweight, so why do I need to eat healthy foods?
March 22, 2018 - UCLA-led study suggests unexpected reason for reduction in cardiovascular health disparities
March 22, 2018 - Study suggests detailed neuropsychological assessment for brief cardiac arrest survivors
March 22, 2018 - Anticoagulant drugs found safe to use in patients undergoing surgery for irregular heartbeat
March 22, 2018 - SP Industries appoints Brian Larkin as new President and CEO
March 22, 2018 - GTx Announced New Data Demonstrating Enobosarm’s Potential to Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence
March 22, 2018 - Higher Risk of Brain Deficits in Older Alcoholics
March 22, 2018 - Top US health official resigns in conflict of interest
March 22, 2018 - Study shows benefits of hair loss drug in improving cognitive function and vascular health
March 22, 2018 - Researchers explain link between 2 key Alzheimer’s proteins
March 22, 2018 - Patients on replacement therapy with thyroid hormone may have more comorbidities
March 22, 2018 - Higher online patient ratings linked to urologists who saw fewer Medicare patients
March 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Ilumya (tildrakizumab-asmn) for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis
March 22, 2018 - Beer Raises Heart Rate; KardiaBand Hyperkalemia Test; CHD Clinics
March 22, 2018 - A retinal implant that is more effective against blindness
March 22, 2018 - New system based on artificial intelligence provides reliable detection of breast cancer
March 22, 2018 - Research offers new understanding about cause of Parkinson’s disease
March 22, 2018 - HORIBA’s Microsemi CRP analyzer improves quality of care in emergency pediatric units, study shows
March 22, 2018 - Neuroscientists move closer to developing tools for deciphering brain function
March 22, 2018 - New test methods with less fear
March 22, 2018 - Range of Vaginal Dryness Products Can Help Postmenopausal Women: Study
March 22, 2018 - Higher Dose Tx Deemed Safe in Pulmonary TB
March 22, 2018 - Discovery of new ALS gene points to cytoskeleton as potential target for drug development
March 22, 2018 - Diet soda associated with higher odds of diabetic retinopathy
March 22, 2018 - LSD reduces ‘sense of self’
March 22, 2018 - Vitamin D deficiency linked to metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women
March 22, 2018 - Changes in the intestines may be responsible for reversal of diabetes after bariatric surgery
March 22, 2018 - iPads and Cancer; Clot Retrieval and Stroke: It’s PodMed Double T!
March 22, 2018 - Premature births linked to changes in mother’s bacteria
March 22, 2018 - Brain SPECT scans predict treatment outcomes in patients with depression
March 21, 2018 - Researchers succeed in integrating artificial organelles into cells of living organism
March 21, 2018 - Researchers discover ‘missing mutation’ in severe infant epilepsy
March 21, 2018 - Researchers develop statistics-based computational scheme to zoom in on brain function
March 21, 2018 - Verge joins Genomics England’s Discovery Forum industry partnership
March 21, 2018 - Trovagene Announces First Patient Successfully Completes Cycle 1 of Treatment with PCM-075 in Combination with Low Dose Cytarabine (LDAC) in AML Trial
March 21, 2018 - Congenital Cardiac Cath Tx Often Strays from Guidelines
March 21, 2018 - Marked increase in cardiovascular risk factors in women after preeclampsia
March 21, 2018 - New app may help predict, track manic and depressive episodes in bipolar patients
March 21, 2018 - Discovery of genes could lead to development of novel therapies for EBV-related cancers
March 21, 2018 - High-fat, high-cholesterol diet depletes ranks of artery-protecting immune cells
March 21, 2018 - Research misconduct allegations shadow likely CDC appointee
March 21, 2018 - Most Breast Ca Patients Fail to Get Genetic Counseling
March 21, 2018 - Lopsided ear function can lead to lopsided brain development
March 21, 2018 - Acupuncture helps manage menopausal symptoms, review finds
March 21, 2018 - Motor skill training may contribute to reading skills in obese children
March 21, 2018 - Poor dental health may be related to increased diabetes risk
March 21, 2018 - Chronic opioid users at increased risk of complications after spinal fusion surgery
March 21, 2018 - Study uncovers potential therapeutic target against large family of parasites
March 21, 2018 - NSAID use linked to increased risk of atrial fibrillation
March 21, 2018 - Scientists develop brain “stethoscope” that can detect silent seizures
March 21, 2018 - New method predicts effects of global warming on disease
March 21, 2018 - Insurance Company Hurdles Burden Doctors, May Harm Patients
March 21, 2018 - Renal Transplant from HCV-Positive Donors Feasible
March 21, 2018 - Myelodysplastic syndrome: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
March 21, 2018 - Research reveals brain mechanism involved in language learning
March 21, 2018 - Many parents still hesitate to try early peanut introduction, survey finds
March 21, 2018 - Audiologist urges tinnitus sufferers facing ‘revolving door healthcare’ to seek support
March 21, 2018 - Study reveals impact of prostate cancer on wives and partners of sufferers
March 21, 2018 - ‘Almost a Miracle Drug’: What We Heard This Week
March 21, 2018 - Study shows NIH spent >$100 billion on basic science for new medicines
March 21, 2018 - Columbia researchers identify nerve cells that drive fruit fly’s escape behavior
March 21, 2018 - Sartorius Stedim Biotech selected by ABL Europe to supply single-use process technologies
March 21, 2018 - Increase in coffee consumption may help battle against colon cancer
March 21, 2018 - Hydrogel may accelerate healing of diabetic ulcers
March 21, 2018 - Dermira’s Two Phase 3 Trials Evaluating Olumacostat Glasaretil in Patients with Acne Vulgaris Did Not Meet Co-Primary Endpoints
March 21, 2018 - DePuy Synthes introduces ACTIS Total Hip System for improving initial implant stability
March 21, 2018 - ‘Oh, It Was Nothing’
Researchers test orange light treatment at emergency psychiatric care

Researchers test orange light treatment at emergency psychiatric care

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Can orange light therapy help people who have serious mental disorders? Who hear voices and see things that aren’t there? Or who are thinking about committing suicide?

“Emergency psychiatric care hasn’t seen much new thinking about approaches to treatment. We’re trying to do something about that,” says Håvard Kallestad, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Mental Health. He is part of a team that is integrating a special light treatment into the new emergency psychiatric center at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim.

This is the very first such center in Norway, and one of only very few worldwide.

The goal is to see if the light treatment can contribute to reducing medications, even for seriously mentally ill patients.

But first let’s delve into understanding how blue light, sleep and nightly rhythms affect us as human beings.

May damage the body’s circadian rhythm
Until the invention of the electric light, the sun was the only source of light for humans. In the evening people were simply in the dark, other than perhaps having light from a flickering candle or fireplace.

Nowadays, the view from space shows that large parts of the Earth are illuminated. And that’s pretty much fine – we can read longer, work longer and stay out longer.

But we may also be paying a price for all the artificial light. And it may affect some people more strongly than others. Too much light at the wrong time of day can damage the body’s circadian rhythm – basically your body’s own internal clock. A disrupted circadian rhythm can make us physically and mentally ill.

Blue light keeps us awake
But light isn’t just light. It has different wavelengths of red, yellow and blue. Regular daylight has many shades of blue in it. And when the sun is about to drop below the horizon, the color of the light that we perceive changes. Just think of a beautiful sunset. It’s mostly pink and orange, without much blue in it.

The blue wavelengths in daylight cause the brain to become energetic and awake. Blue light sends a strong signal to the brain that the sleep hormone melatonin should switch off, and then we wake up. That’s why a bright light treatment in the morning can help people fend off winter depression and the feeling of powerlessness.

And the opposite also holds true. If we surround ourselves with a lot of blue light in the evening, then the body’s natural slumber inducer, the hormone melatonin, won’t kick in. It may be nighttime, but do you feel tired? Nope. The body thinks it’s still daytime.

Went camping to experiment
A lot of electronics like television screens, LED lights, lamps, tablets and mobiles contain blue light. If we watch television in the evening or lounge on the couch with our tablet, purely biological reasons will keep us awake much longer than if we were in a candlelit cabin.

“In fact, some American researchers took a group of research subjects on a three-day camping trip. They had no artificial lighting there. Just a lot of daylight during the day and darkness at night. Over the three days, the patients became significantly more attuned to the sun’s rhythm,” says Kallestad.

A group of Italian researchers conducted another experiment where they had manic patients remain in the dark from six o’clock in the evening until eight o’clock in the morning.

Tested orange glasses on bipolar patients
“Their results were remarkable,” says Kallestad. “The patients became significantly less manic than those who stayed in regular lighting conditions all afternoon and evening.”

Knut Langsrud, head of section at St. Olavs Hospital emergency center in Trondheim, also discovered that patients whose circadian rhythms varied the most also had the longest hospital stays.

But having to keep people who struggle with this in dark rooms for so many hours a day may be asking too much. A few years back, Tone Elise Gjøtterud Henriksen, a psychiatrist at Valen Hospital in Hordaland county, began to experiment with how orange-tinted glasses might help people with bipolar disorder.

Blocks blue light half the day
Patients experiencing manic episodes wore orange glasses during their waking hours from six o’clock in the evening to eight o’clock in the morning for one week. A control group wore clear glasses. Everyone continued to receive their regular treatments as well. After just three days, the patients with orange glasses were significantly better. The orange glasses blocked the blue light, and the brain thought it was dark.

“At the new emergency center in Trondheim, you could say that the building has become the tinted glasses. We’ve taken everything we know about orange and blue light and the importance of a good daily rhythm, and physically applied that knowledge to the building,” says Kallestad.

Researchers to test if it works
Now the researchers want to find out for themselves whether or not light therapy can positively affect the mentally ill. From now on, patients in the new emergency center will be divided into groups located in two physically separate units.

One unit has regular lighting comparable to other public buildings. The other unit is equipped for light treatment. Two long rows of powerful lights are available for use there every morning. Every evening from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. the blue light found in daylight and the indoor lighting is switched over to evening light. An orange filter is lowered in front of the windows, and lights in the hallway and the patient rooms turn orange.

From 6:30 a.m. on, natural light shines through the windows. And the regular lights are turned back on.

That way, patients receive a lot of daylight in the morning and artificial darkness in the evening. The hope is that this will support a better circadian rhythm – and improved health -for patients.

Orange filters a good idea in the evening
“There’s reason to believe that this treatment will work based on the earlier research, but it’s another matter to actually investigate the method in practice,” says Kallestad.

“Just to be clear,” he adds, “conversat                                                                           

The question arises what people should do who have just replaced their old light bulbs with LED bulbs. We know LED lights are beneficial for the environment, but can they mess up our circadian rhythm?

Kallestad confirms that yes, LEDs may potentially have a harmful effect on our circadian rhythm. LEDs produce more blue light than old-fashioned light bulbs do. When it comes to tablets and smartphones, many of them have a nighttime setting or app that filters out blue light that you can turn on in the evening.

Or you can turn off the lights completely and light a candle instead.


Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles