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Commentary |

A Turning Point for Seasonal Affective Disorder and Light Therapy Research?

David H. Avery, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55(10):863-864. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.55.10.863.
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THE STUDIES of bright light therapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD; also known as winter depression) in this issue of the ARCHIVES13 are sound studies that address important fundamental questions. Is bright light therapy more than a placebo effect? Is morning bright light therapy more effective than evening bright light?

Eastman  CIYoung  MAFogg  LFLiu  LMeaden  PM Bright light treatment of winter depression: a placebo-controlled trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55883- 889
Terman  MTerman  JSRoss  DC A controlled trial of timed bright light and negative air ionization for treatment of winter depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55875- 882
Lewy  AJBauer  VKCutler  NLSack  RLAhmed  SThomas  KHBlood  MLLatham Jackson  JM Morning vs evening light treatment of patients with winter depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55890- 896
Terman  MTerman  JQuitkin  FMcGrath  PStewart  JRafferty  B Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder: a review of efficacy. Neuropsychopharmacology. 1989;21- 22
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Wirz-Justice  AGraw  PKrauchi  KGisin  BJochum  AArendt  JFisch  HBuddeberg  CPoldinger  W Light therapy in seasonal affective disorder is independent of time of day or circadian phase. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50929- 937
Terman  MAmira  LTerman  JS Predictors of response and nonresponse to light treatment for winter depression. Am J Psychiatry. 1996;1531423- 1429
Avery  DHKhan  ADager  SRCohen  SCox  GBDunner  DL Morning or evening bright light treatment of winter depression? the significance of hypersomnia. Biol Psychiatry. 1991;29117- 126
Terman  M Problems and prospects for use of bright light as a therapeutic intervention. Wetterberg  LedLight and Biological Rhythms in Man Stockholm, Sweden Pergamon Press1993;421- 437
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Sack  RLLewy  AJWhite  DMSinger  CMFireman  MJVandiver  R Morning vs evening light treatment for winter depression: evidence that the therapeutic effects of light are mediated by circadian phase shifts. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47343- 351
Avery  DHDahl  KSavage  MVBrengelmann  GLLarsen  LHKenny  MAEder  DNVitiello  MVPrinz  PN Circadian temperature and cortisol rhythms during a constant routine are phase-delayed in hypersomnic winter depression. Biol Psychiatry. 1997;411109- 1123
Avery  DHBolte  MAWolfson  JKKazaras  AL Dawn simulation compared with a dim red signal in the treatment of winter depression. Biol Psychiatry. 1994;36180- 188
Lam  RWed Seasonal Affective Disorder and Beyond.  Washington, DC American Psychiatric Press1998;

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