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 ~ADVANCE~ BRAINTREE, Mass., Nov. 16 ~PRNewswire~ -- A patent was issued today (Tuesday, Nov. 17) to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for a method of rapidly shifting an individual's circadian rhythm to a pre-determined schedule. Light Sciences, Inc., a company that has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to the technology from BWH, is applying the technology using their Circadian Light System for night shift workers, sufferers of jet lag, and others, such as the elderly who are often adversely affected by the misalignment of their internal body clock.
 The circadian cycle is a self-sustained biological rhythm driven by an internal biological clock and synchronized to a 24-hour day. Research has established that exposure to light and darkness is the most potent daily synchronizer of this cycle, ten times more powerful than pharmacological agents such as melatonin. The patent covers a method of using pulses of bright light and darkness at specific times during an individual's innate circadian cycle to cause a rapid shift in the circadian pacemaker.
 Research by inventors Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D., director of Circadian and Sleep Disorders Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Richard Kronauer, Ph.D., Gordon McKay professor of Applied Sciences at Harvard Medical School; and James S. Allan, M.D., Clinical Fellow, Harvard Medical School; found that precisely timed exposure to specific levels of light can cause a rapid and predictable shift in circadian rhythms. This process will be extremely useful for anyone whose circadian cycle is out-of-sync with the schedule they keep. In addition to applications for night shift workers and jet lag sufferers, research by Dr. Czeisler and his associates has revealed that it may be quite useful for treating the elderly, who often have trouble synchronizing their biological clock to a 24 hour day. Properly timed exposure to bright light can help realign their circadian cycles so they sleep through the night.
 According to Matthew C. Weisman, president of Light Sciences, Inc., "Our patented method of carefully timed bright light can shift an individual's circadian cycle two to three hours in one day, and up to eight to ten hours in two days. Recent research using an experimental pill containing the hormone melatonin to create a circadian shift took four days to shift the body clock just one hour. Night shift workers, who often rotate shifts, require a rapid adjustment in the circadian cycle to be useful, which can only be achieved using light."
 Approximately 10 million Americans work the night shift, leading to adverse health and safety consequences. Advances in the understanding of the biological rhythms and their control by the brain indicate that shift work can disrupt these rhythms, leading to adverse consequences for workers.
 Light Sciences, Inc., is currently under contract with NASA to provide light schedules for adaptation of Space Shuttle Astronauts prior to launch. The company also has instituted two trials at major industrial facilities in the U.S., using its LSI Circadian Light System to help night shift workers better adapt.
 Light Sciences, Inc., has acquired the exclusive worldwide license for this technology from Brigham and Women's Hospital. Taking full advantage of circadian rhythm technology, LSI has developed a complete system approach including computer hardware, software, management consultation and educational services for the worker and the worker's family.
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 ~CONTACT: Matthew C. Weisman, president & CEO of Light Sciences, Inc., 617-849-8226, or Brad Miles of Ted Klein & Co., 212-477-9007, for Light Sciences Inc.~

CO: Light Sciences, Inc. ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:

AH-LD -- NY123 -- 1548 11~16~92 17:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 16, 1992
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