Efficacy Study of Light Therapy as an Adjunctive Treatment for Parkinson's Disease

Sixty Minute Exposure of Specific Bandwidth Light for the Treatment of Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease

Recruitment Information:

Seeking volunteers with following diagnosis: PD Study Type: Interventional
Eligible Ages: 45 - 100 Status: Completed
Time Since Diagnosis: Any may be eligible Study Focus: Depression, Sleep Disturbances

Study Purpose:

Light treatment was originally employed in Parkinson's disease (PD) to determine if it might be effective in treating co-existing symptoms of depression and insomnia. However, a preliminary double-blind study as well as other studies reported significant improvement in both motor and co-existing Parkinsonian symptoms. As of yet, no long term double blind study has validated these findings. This study will use a double-blind design to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a non-invasive light therapy device to be used with ongoing pharmacotherapy for PD, over a six month treatment period.

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More Details

Parkinson's disease (PD) is traditionally described as a disorder of compromised dopamine (DA) function in the nigro-striatal dopamine (NSD) system. This system extends from the midbrain, through the hypothalamus and into the forebrain to critical areas involved in the control of motor performance. Restoration of DA content in this system by administering the DA precursor L-dopa or DA agonists reinstates motor control, but provides only symptomatic relief with waning efficacy as the disease advances. Symptoms of depression and sleep disturbances are also commonly seen in PD patients, and the manifestation of these symptoms suggests impaired circadian function. Although the involvement of the circadian system in PD was intimated in the first formal account of the disorder provided by James Parkinson, it was not until recently that circadian malfunction has been specifically cited as playing a major role in the development and progression of the disease. In addition to scattered reports depicting circadian-like features of PD and related syndromes, a large body of evidence describes the benefits of light therapy in PD from both the preclinical and clinical perspectives. While the development of a formal understanding has been largely omitted as to the basis for any therapeutic effect exerted by light, recent studies have shown that the nigro-striatal dopamine system is comprised of the same cell type as cells in the retina and the pineal. Such cells are driven by visual input whereby dopamine and melatonin sit in functional opposition to regulate day night activities including sleep, mood, reproduction, anti-oxidation and movement. Hence one may conclude that the circadian system plays a major role in many aspects of PD. Recent work in PD has also suggested that the efficacy of light therapy is mediated by melatonin and dopamine function in the retina. On this basis it would be reasonable to assume that intervention into the function of the circadian system with light therapy in PD patients might well serve to modify the course and consequences of the disease. The present study serves to extend this finding to the point of providing a practical, non-invasive method for helping patients.

Phase: N/A Lead Sponsor: PhotoPharmics, Inc.
Trial ID: 003870 Sponsor Type: Industry
Country: United States Additional Collaborators or Sponsors: PhotoPharmics, Inc.
Estimated Enrollment: 80 Study Start Date: June 2014
Estimated Study Completion Date: October 2016 Source: ClinicalTrials.gov
Study Website:
This is a FDA Regulated Trial

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