The effects of low-intensity narrow-band blue-light treatment compared to bright white-light treatment in sub-syndromal seasonal affective disorder

Ybe Meesters*, Wim H. Winthorst, Wianne Duijzer, Elisabeth Bos, Hommes, V

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background
The discovery of a novel photoreceptor in the retinal ganglion cells with a highest sensitivity of 470-490 nm blue light has led to research on the effects of short-wavelength light in humans. Several studies have explored the efficacy of monochromatic blue or blue-enriched light in the treatment of SAD. In this study, a comparison has been made between the effects of broad-wavelength light without ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths compared to narrow-band blue light in the treatment of sub-syndromal seasonal affective disorder (Sub-SAD).

Method
In a 15-day design, 48 participants suffering from Sub-SAD completed 20-minute sessions of light treatment on five consecutive days.

22 participants were given bright white-light treatment (BLT, broad-wavelength light without UV 10 000 lux, irradiance 31.7 Watt/m2) and 26 participants received narrow-band blue light (BLUE, 100 lux, irradiance 1.0 Watt/m2). All participants completed daily and weekly questionnaires concerning mood, activation, sleep quality, sleepiness and energy. Also, mood and energy levels were assessed by means of the SIGH-SAD, the primary outcome measure.

Results
On day 15, SIGH-SAD ratings were significantly lower than on day 1 (BLT 54.8 %, effect size 1.7 and BLUE 50.7 %, effect size 1.9). No statistically significant differences were found on the main outcome measures.

Conclusion
Light treatment is an effective treatment for Sub-SAD. The use of narrow-band blue-light treatment is equally effective as bright white-light treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume16
Issue number27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18-Feb-2016

Keywords

  • sub-SAD
  • Light treatment
  • Narrow-band blue light
  • RETINAL GANGLION-CELLS
  • SHORT-WAVELENGTH LIGHT
  • WINTER DEPRESSION
  • GENERAL-POPULATION
  • ACTION SPECTRUM
  • THERAPY
  • MELATONIN
  • PHOTOTHERAPY
  • EFFICACY
  • HUMANS

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