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Effect of stimulation of mRGCs on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

Klaver, Casper (2018) Effect of stimulation of mRGCs on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Bachelor's Thesis, Life Science and Technology.

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Abstract

Sleep problems are commonly seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). They may contribute to morbidity and a poor quality of life. Reducing the sleep problems may improve the symptoms again and improve the quality of life. Sleep problems may be an effect of an disruption of the circadian rhythm. So, if melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) are able to entrain the circadian rhythm, how does mRGC stimulation affect AD and PD patients with a disrupted circadian rhythm? As light stimulates mRGCs, bright light therapy (BLT) is used in practice to stimulate the mRGCs. In AD, this hasn’t been successful yet. Results have been very mixed and a meta-analysis even concluded that BLT on AD had no effect on cognition, sleep, challenging behavior and psychiatric symptoms. However, due to the lack of a precise protocol on BLT, there is still a chance significant results will be seen in the future. Also, BLT might lead to a good circadian rhythm, but since many factors contributes to good sleep, this doesn’t necessarily translates to good sleep. In PD, BLT has been more successful. Studies found that BLT significantly improves symptoms, including motor dysfunctions and sleep behavior problems. It is suggested that this could be due to the effect of mRGCs on dopaminergic signaling. Also, BLT is able to decrease the amount of dopaminergic replacement drug a patient needs. As dopaminergic replacement drugs cause dyskinesia in PD patients, the reduction also leads to better sleep. However, the number of studies of BLT on PD patients is limited, and the studies differ in timing, dosage and treatment duration. So in the future more research must done to determine the optimal parameters.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Helm, B.B.Helm@rug.nl
Degree programme: Life Science and Technology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2018 05:55
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/17577

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