Light Treatment Can Alleviate Metabolic Disorder, Report Says

From Times staff and wire reports

Humans are much more sensitive to light than previously thought and show bodily responses even to dim indoor lamps, according to Harvard scientists. Two reports in Nature indicate that it could be easier to treat jet lag and other disorders of the 24-hour circadian rhythm than doctors have believed.

In one study, researchers exposed young male volunteers to varying levels of indoor light and measured their body temperatures to see how they responded. They found that even dim indoor light reset the body clocks of the volunteers. In a second study, researchers at Concordia University in Montreal used Pavlovian conditioning to induce rats to reset their body clocks in response to a puff of air on their face. The same technique could be applied to humans, they wrote.