Light Therapy for Autoimmune Symptoms
Fatigue is often reported as the most disabling symptom for people with autoimmune disorders, significantly impairing their physical, mental and social quality of life. Autoimmune researchers in Denmark, noting previous studies wherein bright light therapy significantly reduced fatigue related to traumatic brain injury and cancer, devised a study involving multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The study was conducted as a randomized, sham-controlled trial of 26 people with MS that reported a Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) score greater than 36. Participants received either bright light therapy or a dim red light sham intervention for 30 minutes each morning for two weeks. The bright light therapy decreased FSS scores over the course of the study. However, this benefit occurred in the sham control group as well, highlighting the need for more research on the effects of light therapy on fatigue.