A Randomized Crossover Trial of Bright Light Therapy in Crohn's Disease on Intestinal Barrier Homeostasis

Study Purpose

Crohn's Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC), collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are two of the most significant chronic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). IBD affects over 1.5 million individuals in the US, so identifying risk factors for disease flares is essential to avoid complications, such as hospitalizations and surgery, and to improve quality of life (QoL). Recently, there has been an increased understanding of the importance of sleep and sleep disruption in IBD as a potentially modifiable risk factor. Bright light therapy (BLT) in IBD patients with CM may decrease intestinal permeability and pro-inflammatory cytokines, positively impact intestinal microbiota, and improve quality of life (QoL).In order to administer BLT efficiently and safely, a Re-Timer device, which is a lightweight, wearable set of glasses that emits blue-green light. Please note, the FDA has determined this device to be a General Wellness product and is not regulated by the FDA. Prior to starting treatment, IBD patients will be screened for subclinical inflammation using a fecal calprotectin (FC) level and a blood test. If no subclinical inflammation is detected, potential subjects will be informed of their ineligibility. Eligible participants will complete questionnaires assessing their dietary habits, fatigue, sleep habits, QoL, and severity of their underlying disease. Participants will also be provided a wrist actigraphy, which is a watch like device, to wear for 21 days to objectively assess CM prior to initiating therapy. Once the subjects demonstrate both subjective and objective evidence of CM, during their follow-up visit they will be randomly assigned to wear either the Re-Timer device to receive BLT or the placebo Re-Timer device (non BLT) for 4 weeks. Prior to and following receiving BLT or non BLT placebo, the following samples will be obtained: i) serum markers of inflammation and endotoxemia, ii) urine samples to test for intestinal permeability, and iii) stool samples to assess intestinal microbiota. These proposed studies will assess whether BLT has an impact on IBD patients' inflammation, intestinal permeability, and intestinal microbiota.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Biopsy proven diagnosis of Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis.
  • - 18 years or older.
  • - Fecal Calprotectin > 50 or CRP > 5 or a FACIT Score ≥ 4.
  • - Has been on a stable dose of either a biologic, immunomodulator, or 5-ASA for at least 12 weeks.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Active IBD (Harvey Bradshaw Index < 5 or Modified Harvey Bradshaw Index <5) - Major depression (score ≥ 15 or any endorsement of suicidal intent on the Beck Depression) - Sleep apnea (score high risk in 2 or more categories of the Berlin Questionnaire) (43) - Restless leg syndrome (score ≥ 15 on the IRLS Study Group Rating Scale(44)) - Regular use of medications that affect intestinal permeability, and/or endogenous melatonin including metoclopramide, NSAIDs, beta blockers, psychotropic medications, hypnotics and exogenous melatonin products during 4 weeks prior to the study.
  • - People who have worked night shifts or crossed more than 2 time zones in the previous month.
  • - Any major organ disease - renal impairment (creatinine>1.2 mg/dL), diabetes (Hgb-A1c > 6.5%); liver disease (LFTs > 1.5x normal), or significant cardiac failure (NY classification stage III/IV) - Diagnosis of narrow angle glaucoma or retinal disorders or demonstrated symptoms indicative of these diagnosis during the eligibility screening.
- Inability to sign an informed consent

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Rush University Medical Center
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Principal Investigator Affiliation N/A
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Arms & Interventions


Experimental: Bright Light Therapy via ReTimer glasses, Then Placebo

Participants will wear their device for 60 minutes every morning for 28-days (4 weeks)

Experimental: No Bright Light Therapy via placebo glasses, Then Bright Light Therapy

Participants will wear their placebo device for 60 minutes every morning for 28-days (4 weeks)


Device: - Bright Light Therapy

Device: Bright Light Therapy Retimer

Device: - Placebo Retimer Device

Device: Placebo Retimer Device with no bright light therapy

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois




Rush University Medical Center

Chicago, Illinois, 60068

Site Contact

Netanel Zilberstein