As any caregiver will know, Alzheimer's disease is associated with enormous changes in the mood, behavior, sleep patterns and activities of daily living in the person affected. Some of these symptoms have been associated with disturbances in the circadian rhythm - the term used to describe the 24 hour cycle of our biological processes. Evidence suggests that this inbuilt timing system is very sensitive to both light levels and the hormone melatonin.
A study out this month highlighting the importance of bright lighting to improve the circadian rhythm of elderly people, showed a modest improvement in their symptoms of dementia. The research, by Rixt F. Riemersma-van de Lek, M.D., and colleagues at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science in Amsterdam, also found that the additional use of melatonin resulted in improved sleep.
Twelve elderly group care facilities were studied as to the effects of supplementary lighting and/or melatonin over 3 years. Residents with ...
Melatonin is a sleep hormone, produced by the pineal gland seated deep inside the brain,
as well as other parts of the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract. For
years, melatonin has been recognized as a regulator of circadian rhythms ,
the natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness that has allowed humans to inhabit
the earth in phase with the cycles of night and day.
of the retina (in the back of the eye) to light suppresses release of melatonin
into the blood; darkness triggers release. Nighttime levels of melatonin surge
10-fold higher compared to that of daytime levels. In the modern world,
authorities have proposed that lack of melatonin may be a by-product of
interior lighting that extends into the evening hours. Evidence has emerged
suggesting that lack of melatonin may contribute to increased potential for
of this fascinating hormone has shown potential benefit through a variety of
favorable effects on cardiovascular paramet...
In some countries with universal or nationalized health care, a joint replacement is considered an elective procedure. That means the person chooses to have the operation but it's not an emergency procedure. So despite pain and loss of motion or function, that individual must wait in a queue (line) until the resources are available to them. This could take weeks to months. In the meantime, they are advised to stay active. What's the best way to do that? Should patients exercise on land or in a pool? Is one better than the other? That's what the researchers involved in this study wanted to find out. Physical therapists from down under (Australia) compared patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis exercising either on land (group one) or in a pool-based program (group two) while waiting for surgery. The patients were randomized (randomly placed) into one group or the other. They were all found to be medically fit and able to exercise. Both groups engaged in their respective exercise (land-...
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