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.