Researchers investigate the effects of light therapy on sleep disturbances and depression in older adults with mild cognitive impairments from dementia, reports Medical News Bulletin.

Pathological changes in the brain can lead to mild cognitive impairment followed by dementia. This mild cognitive impairment is a transitional stage between healthy aging and dementia and is characterized as impairment in one or more cognitive domains in the brain. Progressive cognitive impairment and dementia can lead to damage to the brain region that controls the pace of human circadian rhythm. A dysfunction such as this causes behavioral disturbances and sleep disorders in cognitively impaired individuals.

Research has shown that cognitive impairment and sleep quality have direct effects on each other, with 15% of Alzheimer’s patients having impaired sleep quality. Because sleep is a systematic and reversible activity affected by melatonin and sunlight, it is also disturbed in this case.