Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Light-induced hormone surge points to benefits of light therapy

November 09, 2005
A report in the November Cell Metabolism reveals powerful effects of light on the adrenal glands, a finding that might explain the broad benefits of bright light therapy for a variety of conditions, including sleep and depressive disorders, according to researchers. The body's two adrenal glands sit atop each kidney, where they secrete hormones that regulate stress response and metabolism.

The researchers found in mice that light sparks a cascade of gene activity in the adrenal gland through its effects on the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Located in the brain region called the hypothalamus, the SCN is the seat of the circadian clock, the body's internal clock that regulates the roughly 24-hour cycle of biological processes.

Moreover, the researchers report, the gene expression changes accompany a massive surge of the steroid hormone corticosterone in the animals' blood and brain. That hormonal response increased with light intensity, they found.

Glucocorticoids-including cortisone in humans and corticosterone in mice-play many roles throughout the body, including metabolic response to starvation, antiinflammatory immune response, and the timing of circadian rhythms in peripheral organs. Therefore, light-induced secretion of glucocorticoids may play a key role in physiological changes in the body and the brain evoked by light, reported study author Hitoshi Okamura of Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan

First introduced in the early 1980s for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, bright light therapy has been applied to many sleep disorders, including jet lag syndrome and shift work sleep disorder, the reseachers said. Shift work sleep disorder, which affects people who frequently rotate shifts or work at night, is often accompanied by metabolic symptoms, including hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.

"In these patients, light therapy improves not only psychiatric status, but also disordered hormones and metabolisms," Okamura said. "However, effects of light had only been established on melatonin, and the remaining powerful and broad effects of light on body metabolism and hormones remained to be clarified."

The researchers examined the activity of the clock gene Per1 in the organs of living animals. The team found that nighttime light exposure induced Per1 expression in the adrenal gland. Further analysis of the gland revealed numerous changes in the activity of almost 200 genes, followed by the delayed release of corticosterone.

When the researchers severed the SCN, light's effect on the gland was lost, indicating that the phenomenon is closely linked to the circadian clock, they said.

"The surge of blood corticosterone after light exposure indicates that environmental signals are instantly converted to glucocorticoid signals in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid," Okamura reported. "The present light-induced corticosterone release may entrain metabolically peripheral clocks to the environmental light-dark cycle through its prevailing receptors located in virtually all cells in the body."

The findings could prove of great clinical and physiological interest, wrote Ueli Schibler and Steven Brown in an accompanying commentary.

"If a light-induced pathway were also operative in humans, a question that could readily be examined by recording blood cortisone levels after light exposure, it would be tempting to speculate that cortisone-mediated synchronization of peripheral circadian clocks would be one of the beneficial effects light therapy has on patients with seasonal affective disorder," Schibler and Brown said.

"It might also explain why bright light therapy can aid patients with other disorders-such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder-not typically associated with the circadian clock," they continued.

Cell Press


Related Light Therapy Current Events and Light Therapy News Articles


Panic attacks associated with fear of bright daylight
Fear of bright daylight is associated with panic disorder, according to new presented at the ECNP congress in Berlin.

Vitiligo treatment holds promise for restoring skin pigmentation
A treatment regimen is safe and effective for restoring skin pigmentation in vitiligo patients, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Researchers use light to coax stem cells to repair teeth
A Harvard-led team is the first to demonstrate the ability to use low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue, an advance they reported in Science Translational Medicine.

Depression in pregnancy: New study shows preferences for therapy over medication
Women with depression in the perinatal period experience a high degree of conflict in deciding whether and how to treat their depression, but strongly prefer treatments other than antidepressant medications, reports a study in the November Journal of Psychiatric Practice®.

Bright light therapy may improve sleep and promote recovery in patients with mild TBI
A new study suggests that bright light therapy may improve sleep, cognition, emotion and brain function following mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Controlling vascular disease may be key to reducing prevalence of Alzheimer's disease
Over the last 15 years, researchers have found a significant association between vascular diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes type 2, hyperlipidemia, and heart disease and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Skin Transplant Offers New Hope for Vitiligo Patients
Henry Ford Hospital dermatologists say skin transplant surgery is safe and effective for restoring skin pigmentation caused by the skin disease vitligo.

Veterans show a 50 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms after 8 weeks of Transcendental Meditation
Veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars showed a 50 percent reduction in their symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after just eight weeks of practicing the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique.

Self-administered light therapy may improve cognitive function after traumatic brain injury
At-home, daily application of light therapy via light-emitting diodes (LEDs) placed on the forehead and scalp led to improvements in cognitive function and post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

A guide star lets scientists see deep into human tissue
Astronomers have a neat trick they sometimes use to compensate for the turbulence of the atmosphere that blurs images made by ground-based telescopes. They create an artificial star called a guide star and use its twinkling to compensate for the atmospheric turbulence.
More Light Therapy Current Events and Light Therapy News Articles

Winter Blues, Fourth Edition: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter Blues, Fourth Edition: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder
by Norman E. Rosenthal MD (Author)


"A 'landmark book.'"--The New York Times

*When the dark days of winter approach, do you feel sluggish and slow? Is it a struggle to get out of bed each morning?
*Do you have difficulty focusing at work or in relationships, feel down in the dumps, or, worse still, get really depressed?
*Does it get harder than ever to stick to a healthy diet and control your weight?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Picking up this book is the first step toward feeling more energized, productive, and alive--all year long. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal's engaging, compassionate style and rich store of scientific wisdom have made this trusted guide a perennial bestseller. Dr....

Light: Medicine of the Future: How We Can Use It to Heal Ourselves NOW

Light: Medicine of the Future: How We Can Use It to Heal Ourselves NOW
by Jacob Liberman O.D. Ph.D. (Author)


Light: Medicine of the Future challenges the modern myth that the sun is dangerous to our well-being and claims that technological advancements, such as most fluorescent lighting, sunglasses, tanning lotions, and our indoor lifestyles, may be more harmful than helpful. Integrating scientific research, clinical experience, and his own insights, Dr. Jacob Liberman has worked effectively with more than 15,000 individuals, from the learning disabled and physically/emotionally traumatized to business executives and Olympic athletes. The book discusses the use of light in the treatment of various cancers, depression, stress, visual problems, PMS, sexual dysfunction, learning disabilities, and the human immune system.

Health and Light: The extraordinary Study that Shows How light Affects Your Health and emotional well being.

Health and Light: The extraordinary Study that Shows How light Affects Your Health and emotional well being.
by John N. Ott (Author)


The story of John Ott's discovery of the role light plays in sustaining physical health is one of the true scientific breakthroughs of the last half century. It is the story of an observant, intelligent man who acted upon his observations and then supported them with scientific exploration. Health and Light has led many people to a greater understanding of the subtle role light plays in maintaining physical and emotional health.

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs
by Stephen S. Ilardi (Author)


In the past decade, depression rates have skyrocketed, and one in four Americans will suffer from major depression at some point in their lives. Where have we gone wrong? Dr. Stephen Ilardi sheds light on our current predicament and reminds us that our bodies were never designed for the sleep-deprived, poorly nourished, frenzied pace of twenty-first century life.Inspired by the extraordinary resilience of aboriginal groups like the Kaluli of Papua New Guinea, Dr. Ilardi prescribes an easy-to-follow, clinically proven program that harks back to what our bodies were originally made for and what they continue to need. The Depression Cure program has already delivered dramatic results, helping even those who have failed to respond to traditional medications.

Light Years Ahead: The Illustrated Guide to Full Spectrum and Colored Light in Mindbody Healing

Light Years Ahead: The Illustrated Guide to Full Spectrum and Colored Light in Mindbody Healing
by Brian Breiling (Editor), Barbara C. Thomason (Editor), Gabriel Cousens (Editor), Elson Haas (Editor), Bethany ArgIsle (Editor), Lee Hartley (Editor), Jerry A. Green (Editor)


In this book, pioneering clinicians illustrate the important role of light in the emerging fields of Mindbody Healing and Subtle Energy Medicine. The chapters in this book describes the latest therapeutic uses of light in medicine, optometry, chiropractic, acupuncture, education and psychotherapy.

Documented case histories successfully demonstrate the dramatic effects of light applied to a wide variety of mindbody problems including: major depression, SAD, PMS, chronic fatigue, allergies, immune disorders, learning difficulties, neurological problems and recovery from physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Milady's Aesthetician Series: Lasers and Light Therapy

Milady's Aesthetician Series: Lasers and Light Therapy
by Pamela Hill (Author)


Lasers and Light Therapy is the first of its kind, offering a unique approach into the science and technology of laser and light systems. The reader will be exposed to all aspects of this specialized field whether one is working in a medical spa, day spa, or medical clinic. This book is designed to address areas of hair removal and facial / body rejuvenation from a beginning conceptual level into practical hands-on application. Detailed information of treatment protocols is explored starting with the initial consultation and skin care, to the selection of the appropriate cosmetic device, to the delivery of the laser/light technology. The management of the client's goals and maximization of each treatment's outcome is also emphasized for the reader. As one gains knowledge of this...

Rejuvenation: Using the Power of Light to Increase Vitality, Energy and Healing: Low Level Laser Therapy at Home

Rejuvenation: Using the Power of Light to Increase Vitality, Energy and Healing: Low Level Laser Therapy at Home
by Dr. Lawrence DelRe (Author)


Rejuvenation reveals safe and effective home laser light therapy treatments that can be self-administered using an inexpensive laser pointer. Coherent laser light does not cure everything, but it certainly will treat the conditions outlined in Rejuvenation. Weight loss with no overt dieting. You'll notice your appetite decreasing over time. Minor infections such as "angry" hangnails or scratches can be treated one day and gone the next. Teeth and gum problems can be helped, as long as there are no cavities. Rheumatoid arthritis responds in a magnificent way to coherent light therapy. Illuminating one group of joints has a systemic affect on the whole body with multiple joint improvement. Diabetic neuropathy for numb feet , illuminate twice per week, cutting back to once per six weeks....

Light Emerging: The Journey of Personal Healing

Light Emerging: The Journey of Personal Healing
by Barbara Brennan (Author)


Barbara Ann Brennan's bestselling first book, Hands of Light, established her as one of the world's most gifted healers and teachers. Now, she continues her ground-breaking exploration of the human energy field, or aura -- the source of our experience of health or illness. Drawing on many new developments in her teaching and practice, she shows how we can be empowered as both patients and healers to understand and work with our most fundamental healing power: the light that emerges from the very center of our humanity.

In a unique approach that encourages a cooperative effort among healer, patient, and other health-care providers, Light Emerging explains what the healer perceives visually, audibly, and kinesthetically and how each of us can participate in every stage of the healing...

The Practical Book of Color Therapy: Step-by-Step Techniques to Harness the Healing Powers of Light and Color, Shown in Over 250 Photographs

The Practical Book of Color Therapy: Step-by-Step Techniques to Harness the Healing Powers of Light and Color, Shown in Over 250 Photographs
by Simon Lilly (Author), Susan Lilly (Author)


Illustrated with pictures that show how color can alter our moods and attitudes, this is a stimulating and informative exploration into the power of color, with practical suggestions on harnessing it for health, wellbeing and personal fulfilment.

Light and Laser Therapy: Clinical Procedures

Light and Laser Therapy: Clinical Procedures
by Curtis Turchin (Author)


A great book which provides clinical information to help effectively use light therapy. Designed for almost any type of light therapy product, whether laser or LED, cluster or point probe. This new book includes a short overview of physics, physiology, and the history of laser, but is primarily focused on the clinical aspects of laser therapy. What the average chiropractor needs.

© 2014 BrightSurf.com