Prophylactic treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by using light visors: Bright white or infrared light?

Y Meesters*, DGM Beersma, AL Bouhuys, RH van den Hoofdakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
548 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Thirty-eight patients with SAD participated in a light visor study addressing two questions.

1. Can the development of a depressive episode be prevent ed by daily exposure to bright light started before symptom onset in early fall and continued throughout the winter?

2. Does the light have to be visible in order to have beneficial effects'

Methods: Three groups participated in rite study: I (n 14) received bright white light (2500 lux); II, (n = 15) received infrared light (0.18 lux); III (n = 9, control group) did not receive any light treatment at all.

Results: Infrared light is just as effective as bright white light. Both are more effective than the control condition.

Conclusions: Light visors can be effectively used to prevent the development of SAD, The fact that exposure to infrared light was as effective as exposure to bright white light questions the specific role of visible light in the treatment of SAD. (C) 1999 Society of Biological Psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239 - 246
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15-Jul-1999

Keywords

  • seasonal affective disorder
  • prophylactic treatment
  • light treatment
  • light visor
  • RETINALLY DEGENERATE MICE
  • WINTER DEPRESSION
  • CIRCADIAN CLOCK
  • RED-LIGHT
  • THERAPY
  • PHOTOTHERAPY
  • WAVELENGTHS
  • MULTICENTER
  • EFFICACY
  • PREVENT

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