Blue Light Can Cause Brain Damage and Aging (study summary)


Daily blue-light exposure shortens lifespan and causes brain neurodegeneration in Drosophila

Trevor R. Nash, Eileen S. Chow, Alexander D. Law, Samuel D. Fu, Elzbieta Fuszara, Aleksandra Bilska, Piotr Bebas, Doris Kretzschmar, and Jadwiga M. Giebultowicz

NPJ Aging and Mechanisms of Disease
October 19, 2019


Humans receive much more blue light than they did in the past.

It has already been shown that blue light exposure can interfere with sleep cycles and cause retinal damage.

Researchers tested whether blue light can acelerate aging.


Flies exposed only to blue light will show signs of aging.

Results should be applicable to humans, as previous experiments with this fly species successfully extrapolated to humans.


Researchers exposed flies to blue LED light, darkness, and to white light with blocked blue waves.

They tested the three groups for aging phenotypes, brain cell damage, brain neurodegeneration, and impaired locomotion.


  • The blue light group did show accelerated aging. They showed:
    • accelerated aging phenotypes
    • damaged brain cells
    • brain neurodegeneration
    • impaired locomotion

Further, old flies in blue light showed stress responses.


  • Blue light exposure can:
    • accelerate aging
    • cause brain damage
    • cause movement problems
    • lead to early death

Researchers believe that these results can be extrapolated to humans.


We might look back at our current blue light exposure the way we currently look back and smoking habits.

Blue light can be dangerous.

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