Lo-LIGHT Therapy Lamps Found Effective in Clinical Studies on Depression
Light Therapy For SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
The first studies using bright light therapy for the treatment of seasonal depression,
also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD] and Winter Depression, were conducted by Dr. A.J. Lewy in 1982.
Since then numerous studies have shown that depressive symptoms in people suffering from SAD could be relieved
with bright light therapy. Unfortunately many people find high intensity bright light therapy lamps uncomfortable
to look at, and many retinal specialists expressed concerns that
repeated exposure to high intensity light can contribute to a permanent loss of vision.
See more about light therapy for SAD
Low-intensity Lo-LIGHT lamps were developed to avoid the discomfort of some people experience from looking at high intensity light and to avoid the risk of eye damage from using a bright light therapy lamp. The first study in which therapy lamps effectively relieved symptoms of depression in winter depressives was also conducted by Dr. Lewy. That trial demonstrated that low intensity Lo-LIGHT lamps influenced human circadian rhythms in the same manner as bright light therapy lamps.
Lo-LIGHT Therapy for Non-Seasonal Major Depression and Bipolar Depression
Researchers have now shown that Lo-LIGHT lamps light can also alleviate the symptoms of non-seasonal major depression or bipolar depression. Several studies have been published demonstrating that Lo-LIGHT therapy lamps can effectively be used in a brief light therapy protocol known as chronotherapy that regulates the internal body clock.
Lo-LIGHT lamps were used in the pioneering studies demonstrating that chronotherapy is effective for the treatment of non-seasonal major depression and bipolar depression. These studies were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and the Journal of the American Medical Association on Psychiatry. The low-intensity GreenLIGHT from a Lo-LIGHT lamp was found to induce large phase shifts in the body clock, to which researchers attributed the dramatically beneficial results in these studies.
According to study with Lo-LIGHT lamps in JAMA Psychiatry "repeated total sleep deprivation (TSD) and light therapy (LT) caused rapid and sustained antidepressant effects in a matter of hours or days" without side effects.
*(JAMA Psychiatry was formerly titled the Archives of General Psychiatry)
One study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found most of the patients suffering from bipolar depression who received 1 week of treatment with chronotherapy, [i.e. sleep deprivation and exposure to a Lo-LIGHT] remained symptom-free for the entire 9-month follow-up period.
(For references to studies referred to in this section please use link to depression studies below)
Why use Lo-LIGHT lamps for treatment of Non-Seasonal Depression.
Another study used chronotherapy in combination with an antidepressant medication to treat people with
severe major depression. This study with Lo-LIGHT
therapy lamps also found rapid improvement and remission of symptoms in most patients. The researchers
chose the safe low-intensity Lo-LIGHT lamps
for because of their concerns that antidepressant medications and lithium make the retina more susceptible to light damage.
MORE on studies on the treatment of non-seasonal depression with Lo-LIGHT lamps.