Light therapy for conditions other than seasonal affective disorder

There are several clues that light therapy might help people with Parkinson's disease. Experiments have shown that blocking melatonin might reduce the severity of the muscle rigidity that's characteristic of the disease — and light therapy seems to reduce melatonin levels.

Light therapy may also help with the depression that besets people with Parkinson's. Australian researchers enrolled a dozen Parkinson's patients in a light therapy study. They exposed them to bright fluorescent light (1,000 to 1,500 lux) for an about hour each day shortly before they went to sleep.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »