ADVERTISEMENT

Blue Light Therapy May Heal Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Blue Light Therapy May Heal Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Published
Fit
2 min read
Blue Light Therapy May Heal Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Early morning blue light exposure therapy can aid the healing process of people impacted by mild traumatic brain injury, according to new research.

"Daily exposure to blue wavelength light each morning helps to re-entrain the circadian rhythm so that people get better, more regular sleep. This is likely true for everybody, but we recently demonstrated it in people recovering from mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI," said study lead author William D Scott Killgore from University of Arizona in the US.

"That improvement in sleep was translated into improvements in cognitive function, reduced daytime sleepiness and actual brain repair," Killgore added.

Mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, are often the result of falls, fights, car accidents and sports participation. 

Headaches, attention problems and mental fogginess are commonly reported after head injuries and can persist for weeks or months for some people.

According to the study published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, few effective treatments for mTBI exist.

Recent research has shown that the brain repairs itself during sleep, so the resarch team sought to determine if improved sleep led to a faster recovery.

In a randomised clinical trial, adults with mTBI used a cube-like device that shines bright blue light (with a peak wavelength of 469 nm) at participants from their desk or tables for 30 minutes early each morning for six weeks.

Control groups were exposed to bright amber light.

"Blue light suppresses brain production of a chemical called melatonin," Killgore said.

People get the most restorative sleep when it aligns with their natural circadian rhythm of melatonin - the body's sleep-wake cycle associated with night and day.

"If we can get you sleeping regularly, at the same time each day, that's much better because the body and the brain can more effectively coordinate all these repair processes," Killgore added.

As a result of the blue light treatment, participants fell asleep and woke an average of one hour earlier than before the trial and were less sleepy during the daytime.

Participants improved their speed and efficiency in brain processing and showed an increase in volume in the pulvinar nucleus, an area of the brain responsible for visual attention.

Neural connections and communication flow between the pulvinar nucleus and other parts of the brain that drive alertness and cognition were also strengthened, the study said.

"We think we're facilitating brain healing by promoting better sleep and circadian alignment, and as these systems heal, these brain areas are communicating with each other more effectively. That could be what's translating into improvements in cognition and less daytime sleepiness," Killgore said.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by FIT .)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from fit

Topics:  Quint Fit 

ADVERTISEMENT
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider
25
100
200

or more

PREMIUM

3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
Read More
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT
More News
×
×