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The research on Light Therapy and Seasonal Affective Disorder


Many peer-reviewed research papers have been published within the psychiatric research community on seasonal affective disorder, its mechanisms and using light therapy as a course of treatment. In the following section, several such papers have been attached to provide insight into the conclusions reached by the scientific community.

“BLT represents a non-pharmacological, efficacious, well-tolerated, well-accepted and probably underestimated biological therapy which should be part of the therapeutic repertoire of all psychiatrists and general practitioners”

“Disturbances of sleep are a hallmark of seasonal affective disorders (SAD), as they are of other mood disorders. Fall/winter SAD patients most often report hypersomnia. Among responses of 293 SAD patients on a symptom questionnaire, complaints of winter hypersomnia (80%) greatly exceeded insomnia (10%), hypersomnia plus insomnia (5%), or no sleep difficulty (5%)”

“Recent systematic reviews have shown that light therapy is an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment for SAD. There is also evidence for efficacy of pharmacotherapy to treat and prevent SAD. Clinical studies show equal effectiveness with light and antidepressants, so patient preference should be considered in the selection of initial treatment”

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is characterized by recurrent episodes in autumn and winter of depression, hypersomnia, augmented appetite with carbohydrate craving, and weight gain, and can be successfully treated with bright light”

“As sunlight decreases during the short dark days of winter, many individuals struggle with seasonal affective disorder or SAD. As the acronym so aptly illustrates, those afflicted experience feelings of sadness and loss of energy, especially during December, January, and February, around the winter solstice, when the days are shortest”

“Bright light therapy (BLT) has been used as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for over 30 years. This meta-analysis was aimed to assess the efficacy of BLT in the treatment of SAD in adults”

“Since the first description of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by Rosenthal et al. in the 1980s, treatment with daily administration of light, or Bright Light Therapy (BLT), has been proven effective and is now recognized as a first-line therapeutic modality”

"The predictable seasonal aspect of SAD provides a promising opportunity for prevention. This review - one of four reviews on efficacy and safety of interventions to prevent SAD - focuses on light therapy as a preventive intervention"

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