Huntingdon's Disease research to include Lumie lights

Lumie is supplying lights for use in a research study into Huntington’s Disease being conducted at the School of Clinical Medicine’s Neurology Unit at Cambridge University.

Lumie Brazil lightboxes are being donated to a research project examining the efficacy and tolerability of two non-pharmaceutical interventions - bright light therapy and sleep restriction therapy - to see if they improve the disrupted sleep/wake pattern of people with Huntington’s Disease. The project is due to start in April 2016 and is expected to take 8 months to complete.

Using Lumie Brazil at home

The research will use Lumie Brazil , our largest, most powerful lightbox. 

Huntington’s Disease is caused by a faulty gene that can be passed on through families. The gene, if present, causes gradual damage to nerve cells in the brain that eventually shows itself, typically between the ages of 35 and 45. Early signs such as mood swings, fidgety movements, irritability and altered behaviour can often be overlooked or attributed to something else though a blood test can confirm the Huntingdon's gene. Movement, cognitive (perception, awareness, thinking, judgement) and behavioural symptoms become progressively debilitating over the years. There's currently no cure for Huntington's Disease and its progress can't be reversed or slowed down. UK research carried out in 2012 found the actual figure for those affected by the condition to be about 12 people per 100,000.

If a simple intervention, like light therapy, is able to tackle some of the symptoms of Huntingdon's Disease it could still make quite a difference. Sleeping better or being awake and asleep at more normal times could have a significant impact on quality of life, not just for the patient but for their carers and family too.

Research references:

Circadian and sleep disorder in Huntington's disease. Exp Neurol. 2013 May;243:34-44.

Behavioral therapy reverses circadian deficits in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Mar;63:85-91.

The effects of light therapy on sleep problems: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2015 Sep 9;29:52-62.