read an interesting article this week titled "Brighter lighting Improves Symptoms in Patients with Dementia". The study is published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers were studying the effects of light and melatonin in elderly patients. Light exposure was manipulated by installation of large number of ceiling-mounted fixtures with glass diffusers in the common living rooms of group-care facilities increasing the residents exposure to brighter light. The results of the study showed that light therapy attenuated cognitive deficits and reduced symptoms of depression. In combination with bright light, melatonin also improved sleep efficiency, reduced nocturnal restlessness, and reduced the average duration of brief nocturnal awakenings.
In assessing a patient's environment I try to determine if there is adequate light. I've interpreted this to be is there enough light in which to read. After reading this article perhaps adequate light should be redefined.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Geriatrics can be so delightful. Some of the clients I have the privilege to interview are so engaging, witty and surprising. I spent an hour today with a young lady of 87 years that was so charming I was sad to leave. One of her opening statements was so profound "I grew old too fast and smart too late". We shared thoughts about children, the bible, sad state of affairs of the country and her worry that she will outlive her money and have to accept state assistance. She said she was a writer and had stories she would like to write before she dies. I hope she gets that chance.