A recent MedicalXpress article discussed a novel light-based treatment that aims to treat neurodegenerative diseases that disturb circadian rhythms. Light stimulation therapy consists of controlled exposure to natural daylight or artificial light with specific wavelengths that mimic daylight. A team of researchers in China have shed light on the mechanism of action, effectiveness, and clinical applications of light therapy.
The clock that controls our circadian rhythms is located in the hypothalamus region of the brain. Neurological deterioration of the hypothalamus can cause a breakdown of these cycles, which impairs normal daily function in patients and causes a variety of symptoms. Current treatments offer temporary symptomatic relief, now it’s believed that external stimuli, such as light, physical activity, and food intake can help reset the body’s clock and restore normal circadian rhythms to alleviate symptoms.