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Midday Light Therapy May Improve Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Bipolar Disorder

Adjunctive bright light therapy may help lower depressive symptoms in adults with bipolar disorder, reports astudy published yesterday inAJP in Advance.“Despite advances in drug treatment for mania, the development of effective pharmacotherapy for bipolar depression remains a challenge,” wrote Dorothy Sit, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues. “Given the limited treatment options, research to investigate novel therapeutics for bipolar depression is a high-priority public health concern.”Much like patients with major depression, people with bipolar disorder commonly report sleep problems and lethargy, which suggests they may have disrupted circadian rhythms. These circadian problems could benefit from light therapy. The study included 46 adults with bipolar I or II disorder with symptoms of major depression (Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Scale With Atypical Depression Supplement [SIGH-ADS] score of 20 or more), but not mania or mixed symptoms. These patients were randomly assigned to either a 7,000-lux bright white light or 50-lux dim red placebo light unit, which they agreed to use daily at home or work. All patients started with a 15-minute light session between noon and 2:30 p.m. that increased by 15 minutes each week to a target dose of 60 minutes daily. Sit and colleagues chose midday light since it tends to have a subtler effect on circadian rhythms, allowing for better mood with less risk of slee...
Source: Psychiatr News - Category: Psychiatry Tags: ajp in advance bipolar depression bipolar disorder circadian rhythm Dorothy Kit light therapy SIGH-ADS sleep Source Type: research

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