Tuesday, 19 August 2003
This presentation is part of : Non-Pharmacological Treatments for Dementia: a Report of Controlled Randomized Trials

S043-004 A Randomized Contolled Trial of Bright Light Therapy for Dementia

Jane Byrne1, Harry Allen2, Alistair Burns3, Debbie Sutherland3, Susan Butler4, and Barbara Tomenson5. (1) Psychiatry, School of Psychatry and Behavioral Sciences, Manchester, United Kingdom, (2) Old Age Psychiatry, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom, (3) School of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, (4) Old Age Psychiatry, Memory Clinic, Manchester, United Kingdom, (5) Medical Statistics, Manchester royal infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom

Objective: To assess the efficacy of Bright Light Therapy(BLT) for agitation and sleep disorders in dementia

Design:Randomised controlled trial

Materials and Methods:All residents in 2 nursing home ESMI units were screened for inclusion criteria;Dementia(ICD-10),Agitation(CMAI),sleep disorder(Sleep charts,Actigraph),and consent of nearest relative.49 patients were randomised to treatment(n=23) or placebo(n=26) BLT(10,000 lux,2hours/day for 2 weeks,accompanied by the same nurse).Main outcome measure CMAI;other measures,included MMSE,Cornell,Mousepad,Actigraphic sleep/activity scores.Randomisation based on a minimisation method.Measures repeated,baseline, immediately after treatment,one month after treatment.Ratings of main outcome measure made by researcher blinded to treatment condition.

Results:Both treatment and non-treatment groups showed highly significant reduction in CMAI immediately after treatment/placebo.There were no significant effects of depression or of gender.Some aspects of sleep were significantly improved in the treatment group compared to the placebo group.

Conclusion:Intensive nurse time is significantly effective in reducing agitation in severe dementia,with an effect size equivalent to BLT.BLT is beneficial in some aspects of sleep disorder in dementia

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