Radford University and Local Rehab Center Team Up to Find Effective Treatment for Depression and Agitation, which often Occur in Individuals with Dementia

Jan 17, 2014, 08:03 ET from CCR

Radford, Va., Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Radford University is working with CCR (Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, Inc.), which has 12 long-term care centers across Virginia, to examine the effectiveness of bright light exposure for individuals with dementia.  This study is being funded by the Virginia Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund.

Many older adults with dementia living in long-term care facilities experience depression and agitation.  Current treatments for depression and agitation are primarily behavioral and pharmacological.  While research results to date are inconclusive, bright light exposure appears to reduce depression and agitation in these residents.  This experimental study seeks to determine whether or not bright light therapy is an effective treatment that can be added to the available repertoire of strategies used to treat these conditions.

Radford University and CCR are excited to be working together to investigate whether or not bright light exposure reduces depression and agitation in older adults with dementia.  If bright light exposure makes a difference, it would provide a low-cost, safe option to improve the quality of life of individuals with dementia.

According to Lisa L. Onega, PhD, RN, a professor at the Radford University School of Nursing, she was approached by Lora Epperly, Chief Quality and Cultural Excellence Officer of CCR, and asked if the Nursing Program would be interested in working together to test her idea that bright light exposure might decrease agitation and depression in older adults with dementia.  Lisa said "I was delighted to be invited to work with Lora and her team to design and implement this bright light research study.  When clinical and academic agencies work together, we can share ideas and resources to create research that can improve the lives of older adults and their families."

CCR, founded in 2001, currently operates twelve centers in Virginia.  The core business values – service, commitment and integrity – are the guiding principles of the organization. CCR is recognized as a leader in Virginia for providing quality services and being a stable, compliant fiscal operator. The founder and key managers of the organization are involved in numerous statewide initiatives for culture change, quality improvement and maintaining financial viability for long-term care providers. CCR's senior management group collectively has over 165 years of experience in the senior care profession.  Likewise, the company is a Virginia-based company that is committed to participating in the Medicaid and Medicare programs and caring for the frail and indigent.