Infrared Light

Infrared Light and Memory Performance

Angie Szumlinski News

We have all read articles on the value of using ultraviolet lights during the cold, winter months to improve mood in people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I read an interesting study on how a phototherapy device may improve memory in middle-aged individuals. The study found that the participants who wore a special helmet had significant improvement in motor function, memory performance, and processing speed AND no adverse effects were reported!

Wow, imagine the impact this could have on our memory care environments! We all work with residents living with dementia at some point in time, some of us spend every day providing care and psychosocial support to these residents. What would it look like if we had an opportunity to improve their quality of life by simply having them wear a helmet for a specific number of minutes twice daily?

Do I think our future is in this helmet? Maybe, maybe not, but if you think about it, our 80- to 90-year-old residents didn’t wake up one day with dementia. It is a slow and progressive disease, so what if we focus our energy on identifying decline earlier, maybe in the middle-aged group like the participants who were tested in this study? If we used this phototherapy helmet type device twice a day, would it result in fewer residents with cognitive decline that interferes with their day-to-day lives? Not sure, but what an amazing study, and the older I get the more I appreciate researchers looking out for me! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!