Bright Light Treatment of Depression for 28 Adolescents
Helmut Niederhofer, Kai von Klitzing
DOI: 10.4236/nm.2011.24044   PDF    HTML     4,534 Downloads   8,199 Views  


Background: Bright light therapy, an effective therapeutic option for depressive adults, could provide safe, economic, and effective rapid recovery also in adolescents. Method: This was a randomized cross-over trial, i.e. that 14 patients received first dim white light (50 lux) one hour a day for one week and then Bright light therapy (2500 Lux) for one week. 14 patients received first Bright light therapy and then dim white light. For assessment of depressive symptoms, Beck depression inventory scales were administered 1 week before and one day before dim white light treatment, on the day between dim white light and bright white light treatment, on the day after bright white light treatment and one week after bright white light treatment. Saliva melatonin and cortisol samples were collected at 08:00 a.m. and 08:00 p.m., 1 week before and one day before dim white light treatment, on the day between dim white light and bright white light treatment, on the day after bright white light treatment and one week after bright white light treatment and assayed for melatonin and cortisol to observe any change in circadian timing. Results: 28 volunteers, between 14 and 17 years old, completed the study. Beck depression inventory scores improved significantly. The assays of morning saliva melatonin showed significant differences between Bright white light and dim white light (p = 0.005), those of evening saliva melatonin and saliva cortisol did not show significant differences. No significant adverse reactions were observed. Conclusion: Antidepressant response to bright light treatment in this age group was statistically superior to dim white light

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H. Niederhofer and K. Klitzing, "Bright Light Treatment of Depression for 28 Adolescents," Neuroscience and Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2011, pp. 341-346. doi: 10.4236/nm.2011.24044.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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