UVA Health using mice to study the effects of ‘sundowning’ on Alzheimer’s patients
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Health is helping to make new discoveries in Alzheimer’s Research.
Assistant UVA Professor Heather Ferris is using jetlagged mice to study the effects of “sundowning” on Alzheimer’s patients.
“We were able to use mice, where we can really control the environment around them, and we can control their light cycle,” Ferris said. “[Sundowning is]this decline in cognition and behavioral disruptions that seems to occur pretty regularly in the later afternoon and early evening time.”
Ferris says “enhanced light sensitivity” contributes to these disruptions, and the next step would be to see what types of light exposure and at what times could help the patients.
“Changing the lighting and in the home or the lighting in a nursing home, you know, that’s something that’s really practical. It’s not going to be super expensive, so we think that this is something that could have a really big impact on care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease,” Ferris said.
Do you have a story idea? Send us your news tip here.
Copyright 2023 WVIR. All rights reserved.