The researchers hypothesized that the therapy would help improve PTSD symptoms, sleep quality, and the retention of fear-extinction memories.
So, eighty-six participants took part in the study and underwent thirty minutes of daily morning light exposure for six weeks. Half of the participants were exposed to blue light; meanwhile, the other half were exposed to amber light.
And throughout the course of the six weeks, the researchers analyzed all behavioral, autonomic, and neurobiological changes among each participant.
Then, the team ultimately found that participants who received blue light therapy showed significant improvement in PTSD symptom severity. They also reported noticing sleep improvements and greater retention of fear-extinction memories– a benefit that the participants who underwent amber light exposure did not receive.
So now, the researchers are thrilled. After all, the treatment is nonpharmacological, yet it could offer life-saving outcomes for those who suffer from severe PTSD.
“While the limitations of the research include its modest sample size and difficulties monitoring compliance, the possibilities of utilizing a treatment that is relatively simple, drug-free, and inexpensive can offer hope for the large population of people living with the intense challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder,” underscored Killgore.
To read the study’s complete findings, which have since been published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, visit the link here.
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