Enhancing lighting conditions in institutions for individuals with dementia improves their sleep, circadian rhythms and well-being. Here, we tested whether a greater long-term daily light exposure supports the immune response to the annual influenza vaccination. Eighty older institutionalised patients suffering from dementia (54 women and 26 men) continuously wore an activity tracker for 8 weeks to assess individual light exposure and rest-activity cycles. The patients’ immune response was analysed from two blood samples taken before and 4 – 5 weeks after the annual influenza vaccination. Individual antibody concentrations to three influenza virus strains (H3N2, H1N1, IB) were quantified via hemagglutination inhibition assays. By quantifying individual light exposure profiles (including daylight), we classified the patients into a low and a high light exposure group based on a median illuminance of 392.6 lux. The two light exposure groups did not differ in cognitive impairment severity, age or gender distribution. However, patients in the high light exposure group showed a significantly greater circadian rest-activity amplitude (i.e. more daytime activity and less nighttime activity) along with a significantly greater antibody titer increase to the H3N2 vaccine than patients in the low light exposure group, despite similar pre-vaccination concentrations. Sufficient seroprotective responses to all three influenza virus strains were attained for ≥ 75 % of participants. These data provide first evidence for an enhanced immune response in patients with dementia when they received more daily light. Increasing daily light exposure may have beneficial effects on the human immune system, either directly or via circadian rhythm stabilisation.

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.30.405175

Journal: bioRxiv. 2020 Jan 1.

Keywords: Circadian rhythm, Dementia, immune response, influenza, light exposure, Sleep, vaccination,

Applications: Light Exposure,

CamNtech Reference: M20054

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