Nurolight: Developing smart technology to improve sleep and quality of life for those living with Alzheimer's
In the UK 45% of people with Alzheimer’s experience sleep disturbances which negatively impact their quality of life.
About the project
Poor sleep can compound symptoms such as memory loss, cognitive decline, and exacerbate behaviours such as agitation and aggression. We propose to develop a new technology which offers light therapy within the home, using off-the-shelf products, evidence-based research and smart technology.
One of the many physiological processes affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the circadian system with 45% of people with Alzheimer’s experiencing sleep disturbances. Poor sleep exacerbates symptoms of memory loss, worsen cognitive decline and behavioural issues such as agitation and aggression. There is also a high prevalence of sleep disturbance in care givers. This is an important consideration because where the sleep of both the person with dementia and their caregiver is affected, supporting the person to remain at home becomes more challenging.
An opportunity exists to build-upon a growing body of evidence which has demonstrated the benefits of bright light therapy on the behaviours of people with mild to moderate AD. In addition, we intend to build upon advancements in bioadaptive or circadian lighting, that is lighting which mimics the natural colour temperature of daylight to support better sleep quality.
The innovation we intend to develop is a light therapy treatment to entrain circadian rhythms in people living with dementia. We will do this by developing a piece of software which connects and controls off-the shelf smart lamps fitted. Ambient lighting will be controlled and optimised according to the time of day, season and geolocation. Nurolight will be brought to market through Iridis Digital Ltd. a Stirling University joint venture.