Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Reviews in the Neurosciences

Editor-in-Chief: Huston, Joseph P.

Editorial Board: Topic, Bianca / Adeli, Hojjat / Buzsaki, Gyorgy / Crawley, Jacqueline / Crow, Tim / Gold, Paul / Holsboer, Florian / Korth, Carsten / Lubec, Gert / McEwen, Bruce / Pan, Weihong / Pletnikov, Mikhail / Robbins, Trevor / Schnitzler, Alfons / Stevens, Charles / Steward, Oswald / Trojanowski, John

8 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 2.590
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.078

CiteScore 2017: 2.81

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.980
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.804

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 23, Issue 2


A historical justification for and retrospective analysis of the systematic application of light therapy in Parkinson’s disease

Gregory L. Willis
  • The Bronowski Clinic, The Bronowski Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, Coliban Medical Centre, 19 Jennings Street, Kyneton, Victoria 3444, Australia
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Cleo Moore
  • The Bronowski Clinic, The Bronowski Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, Coliban Medical Centre, 19 Jennings Street, Kyneton, Victoria 3444, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Stuart M. Armstrong
  • The Bronowski Clinic, The Bronowski Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, Coliban Medical Centre, 19 Jennings Street, Kyneton, Victoria 3444, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-03-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2011-0072


For the past 40 years the primary purpose of therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been to replace deficient dopamine (DA) in the nigrostriatal dopamine (NSD) system. Even in the presence of limited efficacy, abundant side effects and impoverished quality of life, the involvement of other systems in the aetiology and treatment of this disorder has been sorely neglected and the excessive use of DA replacement therapy (DART) continues on a global basis. Recent scientific work suggests that the retina plays a major role in NSD function and intimates light therapy in the management of PD. After a thorough review of historical evidence supporting this contention, a retrospective, open-label study on 129 PD patients, whereby they were monitored for a period extending for a few months to eight years, was carried out. Primary motor and non-motor symptoms were monitored using an objectified global rating scale and timed motor tests that were assessed at regular intervals for the duration of the study. Thirty-one patients with other neurological disorders (OND) served as controls to determine whether any therapeutic effects seen with light were generalizable across other conditions. Patients were classified as compliant (COM), semi-compliant (SCOM), or early quit (EQUIT; prematurely discontinued treatment). EQUIT patients showed deterioration, while the COM group improved on most parameters. The SCOM patients were not as good as the COM group. The OND group showed significant improvement in depression and insomnia, but exposure to light did not improve motor function. The total drug burden of PD patients maintained on light was less with fewer side effects than SCOM or EQUIT groups. These results confirm the value of the strategic application of light therapy with controlled doses of DART in PD and warrants further controlled investigation. That the symptomatic improvement continued as long patients remained in the program suggests that exposure to light, under a strict daily regimen, combined with controlled DART, actively slows or arrests the progressive degenerative process underlying PD.

Keywords: circadian; dopamine overdosing; dopamine replacement; light therapy; melatonin; total drug burden; Parkinson’s disease

About the article

Corresponding author

Received: 2011-10-27

Accepted: 2011-12-21

Published Online: 2012-03-01

Published in Print: 2012-04-01

Citation Information: Reviews in the Neurosciences, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 199–226, ISSN (Online) 2191-0200, ISSN (Print) 0334-1763, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2011-0072.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Véronique Daneault, Marc Hébert, Geneviève Albouy, Julien Doyon, Marie Dumont, Julie Carrier, and Gilles Vandewalle
Sleep, 2014, Volume 37, Number 1, Page 85
Gregory L. Willis, Jamilee Boda, and Christopher B. Freelance
Frontiers in Neurology, 2018, Volume 9
Bibet L. ten Harmsen, Anouke van Rumund, Marjolein Aerts, Mayra Bergkamp, Rianne A.J. Esselink, Edo Richard, Frederick J.A. Meijer, Bastiaan R. Bloem, and Daniel J. van Wamelen
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 2017
Gregory L. Willis and Christopher B. Freelance
Behavioural Brain Research, 2017
A. Brouwer, H.-T. Nguyen, F. J. Snoek, D. H. van Raalte, A. T. F. Beekman, A. C. Moll, and M. A. Bremmer
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2017
Gregory L. Willis and Christopher B. Freelance
Frontiers in Neurology, 2017, Volume 8
Chiara La Morgia, Fred N. Ross-Cisneros, Alfredo A. Sadun, and Valerio Carelli
Frontiers in Neurology, 2017, Volume 8
Karim Fifel, Julien Vezoli, Kwamivi Dzahini, Bruno Claustrat, Vincent Leviel, Henry Kennedy, Emmanuel Procyk, Ouria Dkhissi-Benyahya, Claude Gronfier, Howard M. Cooper, and Ralph E. Mistlberger
PLoS ONE, 2014, Volume 9, Number 1, Page e86240
Eduardo De Pablo-Fernández, David P Breen, Pierre M Bouloux, Roger A Barker, Thomas Foltynie, and Thomas T Warner
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 2017, Volume 88, Number 2, Page 176
Aleksandar Videnovic and Diego Golombek
Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 2017, Volume 2, Page 53
Josiel Mileno Mack, Marissa Giovanna Schamne, Tuane Bazanella Sampaio, Renata Aparecida Nedel Pértile, Pedro Augusto Carlos Magno Fernandes, Regina P. Markus, and Rui Daniel Prediger
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016, Volume 2016, Page 1
O. V. Babkina, M. G. Poluektov, and O. S. Levin
Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii im. S.S. Korsakova, 2016, Volume 116, Number 6. Vyp. 2, Page 60
V. Daneault, M. Dumont, É. Massé, G. Vandewalle, and J. Carrier
Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 2016, Volume 35, Number 1
Alexander C. West and David A. Bechtold
BioEssays, 2015, Volume 37, Number 7, Page 777
Roneil Malkani and Hrayr Attarian
Current Sleep Medicine Reports, 2015, Volume 1, Number 2, Page 81
Analyne M. Schroeder and Christopher S. Colwell
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2013, Volume 34, Number 11, Page 605
Taysa B. Bassani, Raisa W. Gradowski, Tiago Zaminelli, Janaína K. Barbiero, Ronise M. Santiago, Suelen L. Boschen, Claudio da Cunha, Marcelo M.S. Lima, Roberto Andreatini, and Maria A.B.F. Vital
Brain Research, 2014, Volume 1593, Page 95
S. Rios Romenets, L. Creti, C. Fichten, S. Bailes, E. Libman, A. Pelletier, and R.B. Postuma
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 2013, Volume 19, Number 7, Page 670
Scott J. Kutscher, Siavash Farshidpanah, and Daniel O. Claassen
Current Treatment Options in Neurology, 2014, Volume 16, Number 8
Sonja Rutten, Chris Vriend, Odile A. van den Heuvel, Jan H. Smit, Henk W. Berendse, and Ysbrand D. van der Werf
Parkinson's Disease, 2012, Volume 2012, Page 1

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in