University of California, San Francisco Currently recruiting

A recent study (Saltmarche et al., 21017) examined the effects of photobiomodulation (PBM), a kind of light therapy that uses red or near-infrared light to heal and protect tissue that has either been injured, is degenerating, or else is at risk of dying, in 5 older adults with dementia. After 12 weeks of PBM treatments, delivered with a commercially available, wearable device, the patients with mild to moderately severe dementia showed improvements on the Mini-mental State Exam (MMSE, p<0.003) and Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive, ADAS-cog, p<0.03). The caregivers, who kept daily journals of their experiences during the 12 weeks of PBM treatment, reported better sleep, fewer angry outbursts, decreased anxiety and wandering in their loved-ones with dementia. The goals of this trial are to: (1) replicate this finding in a larger group of individuals with dementia and (2) to examine the underling brain mechanisms behind the changes in cognitive function.