This is a continuation of
a previous email
about light hygiene and joint health. In that previous email we discussed the suggestion that inflammatory diseased joints can be treated with bright light that enters into the eyes, which light can be generated from light bulbs. This suggestion was made by scientists. A link to their paper was provided in that previous email.
The scientists who suggested that light bulbs can improve bad joints based this suggestion on a research paper entitled,
ENHANCED INFLAMMATORY AND T-HELPER-1 TYPE RESPONSES BUT SUPPRESSED LYMPHOCYTE PROLIFERATION IN PATIENTS WITH SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER AND TREATED BY LIGHT THERAPY.
The abstract of this fancy-named paper mentioned above is free
but the full text is not. I bought the full text and read it.
This groundbreaking research paper proved that bright light therapy (into the eyes) simultaneously improved DEPRESSIVE and INFLAMMATORY symptoms in people who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
(SAD symptoms are traditionally blamed on the seasonal shortening and loss of the precious long warm days of summer, and this paper assumes the same.)
But strangely, in this paper they struggled to explain this same assumption about SAD, as their broadest conclusion even while this assumption conflicted with their own data and other parallel research findings regarding photoperiod and inflammation.
This conflict and resulting confusion is due to how one defines the word "photoperiod". Assuming photoperiod means the length of daylight and night time darkness OUTDOORS, this definition and experience will produce completely different physical outcomes in a person, say on December 25th, than the ACTUAL PHOTOPERIOD they experience..........which is a combination of what occurs outdoors and ALSO INSIDE THE LIVING SPACE ENVIRONMENT.
No modern person experiences a true and normal seasonal change in photoperiod as artificial lighting grants them lighting 16 hours daily.... 365.
Rather, modern persons suffer during the winter months from day lighting that is too dim to be considered TRUE DAY (unless they spend time outdoors) and lighting in the evening that is bright enough to confuse the master clock in the brain to not realize that long nights and thus winter is occurring.
This experience of the weak 24 hour swing of light intensity also weakens the circadian rhythm, thus making the complimentary oscillating of blood levels of cortisol and melatonin within the 24-hour-cycle, less defined and pronounced.
Unfortunately, although this discussion-on-their-findings suffers from word-definition-inconsistency induced conflict and confusion, BUT the findings in this research paper are truly notable, remarkable and very praiseworthy.
Note: their own experimental methodology and results screams in contradiction to their broadest conclusion that seasonal photoperiod change and resulting biological responses might be to blame for SAD and inflammation.
Their experiment successfully reduced SAD and inflammation symptoms NOT BY CHANGING PHOTOPERIOD (by lengthening the time that daylight entered into the eyes), NO, but rather by INTENSIFYING THE LIGHT into the eyes, with a robust light bulb arrangement.
Application of the bright light arrangement was ONLY after awakening time and prior to lunch time for a brief 1/2 to one hour daily dose.
They simply increased the magnitude of the light-time daytime signal to the master clock in the brain. They did not increase the length of time in which light was entering into the eyes of the subjects. They did not lengthen the "period", rather they increased the "photo" of the photoperiod, while the subjects continued to remain in that traditional SAD-inflamed-prone part of the world during those SAD-inflamed-prone days.
Their research findings are consistent with the advice that light-hygiene-persons have been preaching for years, for anytime of the year........, "get intense light (into the eyes) prior to lunchtime, and also, expose the eyes to darkness or *virtual darkness sometime after dinner and definitely PRIOR to sleep time."
Persons suffering from SAD (and many other diseases) need to all-the-more take this advice and learn to tailor a light hygiene regime that helps to reduce or eliminate their symptoms.
And healthy persons do well to follow this same advise before they notice symptoms.
*(Evening virtual darkness is light with enough blue and green light removed so to signal to the master clock in the brain that it is night time or that night time is nearing. The brain's master-clock-knowledge is not the same as the mind's conscious knowledge of the time of day, because the master clock in the brain is a non-conscious function of the brain. One definition of circadian disruption is when the time held in the conscious mind is different than the time calculated by the brain's master clock, the SCN