New Study Shows Light Therapy Effective in Treating Bipolar Depression

Another interesting new study summarized in Psychiatric Times shows that light therapy may be very effective in the treatment of bipolar depression.

“In a small study of midday light, 46 patients with moderate bipolar depression were randomized to 1 hour of bright white light at noon (7000 lux, which is less than the 10,000 lux usually administered for unipolar depression) or 50 lux dim red placebo light for 6 weeks.1 Patients exhibiting mixed features, as well as those with a history of rapid cycling in the past year, were excluded from the study. Patients with active suicidal ideation, those with any substance use disorder in the past 6 months, and those on melatonin, stimulants, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were also excluded. Thus, at best, the study results apply to a very limited number of patients in comparison with usual practice patients.”

BPD is a very serious affliction, and it’s an increasingly common diagnosis among seniors and dementia sufferers. Any treatment that doesn’t involve drugs is a welcome addition to the tool bag of therapists and psychologists.

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