Lumie lights to be used in Cambridge University research into Huntington’s Disease

Cambridge-based light therapy specialist Lumie is to supply some of its lamps for use in a research study into Huntington’s Disease that is to be conducted by the School of Clinical Medicine’s Neurology Unit at Cambridge University.

24 of Lumie’s most powerful light boxes, Lumie Brazil, are being donated to the research project that will examine the efficacy and tolerability of two non-pharmaceutical interventions to improve the life and sleep quality of people who have Huntington’s disease. One of these interventions is bright light therapy, the other being sleep restriction therapy. The project is due to start in April 2016 and is expected to take 8 months to complete.

Using Lumie Brazil at home

Huntington’s disease is caused by an inherited faulty gene that damages certain nerve cells in the brain. This brain damage gets progressively worse over time and can affect movement, cognition (perception, awareness, thinking, judgement) and behaviour. Early features can include personality changes, mood swings, fidgety movements, irritability and altered behaviour, although these are often overlooked and attributed to something else. Currently there's 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.

Cambridge-based Lumie is a light therapy specialist whose products are proven1 to promote a healthy sleep/wake cycle by regulating the body clock as well as helping you to feel more energetic and productive throughout the day. Lumie Brazil offers a much higher light intensity than standard lighting, emitting 10,000 lux at 35cm. To put that in context, on a bright day but not in direct sunlight the level of brightness ranges from 10,000 to 25,000 lux while in direct sunlight that goes up from 32,000 to 100,000 lux. Bright light has been shown to have an immediate impact, increasing levels of alertness, boosting mood and improving performance. Lumie Brazil is used during the day and is especially good first thing in the morning to help you get going and also for the post-lunch slump.

1. Some relevant research references:

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

Light as Therapy for Sleep Disorders and Depression in Older Adults. Clin Geriatr. 2008 Mar 1;16(3):25-31.

Treatment of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders with Light. Ann Acad Med Singapore 2008;37:669-76.

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