Current Environment:


The purpose of this study is to obtain preliminary data in advance of a larger clinical trial aimed to test whether a single session of green light exposure can lead to a clinically significant reduction in epileptic spikes in patients with medically-refractory epilepsy. As this is a potentially fragile patient population, the study will test safety and tolerability as well as efficacy.


Epilepsy, Epilepsy Intractable

Recruitment Status

Unknown status

Detailed Description

The trial is designed to detect (1) change in spike frequency on EEG before and after exposure to low intensity green light, and (2) presence or absence of neurologic/systemic symptoms referable to exposure of the pre-selected duration, intensity, and band of green light. Our primary aim is to determine whether prolonged exposure (120 minutes) to a narrow band of green light (520-540 nm) at low intensities (1-10 cd/m2) alters the pattern of electrical activity in the cortex of epilepsy patients. The primary outcome measure for this aim will be the fraction of patients in which the number of epileptiform discharges (spikes or sharp waves) decrease, per recording, in response to green light exposure, as determined by spike frequency detected via scalp EEG before and after green light exposure. The investigators anticipate that the primary outcome measures of safety and tolerability will not differ from the previously established measures of green light exposure for migraine (Noseda et al. 2016). The investigators will use only low intensities (1-10 cd/m2) of green light which is well tolerated in adults and children (Main et al. 2000). In addition, given limited experience with conventional green light exposure in epilepsy, the investigators predict that post-exposure to green light, patients will have an improvement on the post-exposure EEG (decreased spike frequency).

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

6 months-30 years of age
Epileptic spike frequency ≥1 epileptic spike per minute at baseline, as determined by scalp EEG recording
Admitted to the Boston Children's Hospital Epilepsy Long Term Monitoring Unit at the time of enrollment

Exclusion Criteria:

Retinol disease
Any history of or currently not well controlled ophthalmic disease that prevents transmission from the retina to the optic nerve
Clinical seizure 4 hours or less before anticipated green light exposure


Intervention Type

Intervention Name


Green Light Exposure


Not Applicable



Min Age

6 Months

Max Age

30 Years

Download Date

March 9, 2022

Principal Investigator

Alexander Rotenberg

Primary Contact Information

Melissa DiBacco, MD


For more information on this trial, visit


For more information and to contact the study team:

Effects of Green Light Exposure on Epileptic Spikes in Patients With Refractory Epilepsy NCT03857074 Paul MacMullin Melissa DiBacco, MD 617-919-4617