Phototherapy May Aid Cognitive Function With Dementia

However, no significant improvement seen for behavioral and psychological symptoms, sleep
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

FRIDAY, April 7, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Phototherapy may improve cognitive function in patients with dementia, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online April 5 in Brain and Behavior.

Xinlian Lu, from the School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences at Peking University in Beijing, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to examine the effectiveness of phototherapy on cognitive function in older adult patients with dementia. Cognitive function as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was the primary outcome, while the secondary outcomes included behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and sleep.

Based on 12 randomized controlled trials (766 patients with dementia), the researchers found that phototherapy interventions significantly improved MMSE scores. However, the groups did not significantly differ in the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia score, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory score, Neuropsychiatric Inventory score, sleep efficiency, total sleep time, and Sleep Disorders Inventory score.

"Our meta-analysis indicates that phototherapy improved cognitive function in patients with dementia but had no significant effect on behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and sleep. This suggests that phototherapy may be one of the most promising nonpharmacological interventions for improving core symptoms of dementia," the authors write. "Further studies are required to validate these methodologically heterogeneous results."

Abstract/Full Text

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