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Clinical Studies for winter depression and non-seasonal major and bipolar depression

Clinical Studies: Winter Depression and
Non-seasonal Major/Bipolar Depression

Light Therapy and Seasonal Depression or Winter Depression (SAD)

 The Lo-LIGHT therapy lamp The soft green light provided by a Lo- LIGHT therapy Lamp has been shown to produce the same physiological effects as bright light therapy boxes that are 10 to 25 times as bright. This was originally demonstrated in a study conducted by Dr. A.J. Lewy with patients suffering from winter depression. That pilot study found that Sunnex Biotechnologies low-intensity lamps using with the GreenLIGHT technology induced an equivalent physiological effect to bright white light, as measured by shifts in their circadian rhythms. Dr. Lewy was the originator of bright light therapy for the treatment of winter depression, also known as a major depression with a seasonal pattern. He coined the term "Seasonal Affective Disorder" and its acronym "SAD" to describe this depressive disorder. Reference 1

Since that pilot study, Sunnex Biotechnologies' low intensity light therapy lamps have undergone rigorous testing at a number of university medical centers and research laboratories. Lo-LIGHT therapy lamps have been used successfully for over 15 years by people with Seasonal Affective Disorder / SAD / winter depression, and sleep disorders. Although the Lo-LIGHT therapy lamp provides only a small fraction of the light intensity of a bright light therapy box or a blue light /blue-enhanced light therapy lamp, the equivalent effect is achieved with the same exposure time, but safely and comfortably. The safety of a Lo-LIGHT therapy lamp stands in contrast to risk of retinal damage from the use of bright light and blue light therapy lamps where experts continue to express concern that the use of these high intensity therapy lamps may contribute to the loss of vision by the users of these devices. Read More

Lo-Light Therapy and Non-Seasonal Major Depression

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reported that thirty minutes of morning exposure to low intensity (400 lux) of green light from a Sunnex Biotechnologies' Lo- LIGHT significantly hastened and improved the response of patients with non-seasonal major depression to anti-depressant medication (citalopram). In this study, the depressive episode ended within 2 weeks of the start of treatment for over half of the patients admitted to the health center suffering from major depression. Within 4 weeks almost 80% of the subjects were no longer suffering from depression. Reference 2

The authoritative Cochrane Review on Light therapy for Non-Seasonal Depression amended their definition of "bright light" therapy to include Sunnex Biotechnologies' low-intensity Lo- LIGHT in the Review of Light Therapy for Non-seasonal Depression. The Cochrane Review gave an "A" quality rating to this study using Lo-LIGHT therapy lamps. Reference 3
There have been a number of other studies with bright white light have also found light therapy effective in the treatment of non-seasonal major depression. In 2015 Lam et al published a study treating subjects with an SSRI antidepressant and bright white therapy which had also had positive results, although these results were not quite as robust as the earlier study referenced above that used Lo-LIGHT lamps. see Reference 2a

Lo-Light Therapy and Non-Seasonal Bipolar Depression

Other studies followed which also found that treatment with properly timed exposure to low intensity green light was effective in the treatment of bipolar depression. Studies published in J. Clinical Psychiatry and Chronobiology International found that even with no changes in medication, other than the addition of lithium if the patients were not previously using a mood stabilizer, one week of treatment with properly scheduled low intensity GreenLIGHT therapy caused remission of the depressive condition. Furthermore it was found that this remission generally lasted for at least several months with no additional treatment. In fact the majority of patients did not relapse within the 9 month follow-up period following the one week of treatment. Additionally the study published in Chronobiology International determined that there was a correspondence between the effectiveness of the treatment and the extent of the circadian phase advance induced by the Lo-LIGHT therapy treatment. [SEE Reference 5, below]

The effectiveness of brief treatment with properly timed low-intensity GreenLIGHT therapy was reported in JAMA Psychiatry in an f-MRI study examining changes of brain activity of bipolar patients with severe depression as compared with those patients in remission one week later, after treatment with low intensity green light therapy. This paper reported that the antidepressant effects were "rapid and sustained" for the majority of subjects. The JAMA Psychiatry study asserted that properly timed low-intensity green light therapy causes "rapid amelioration of bipolar depression in matter of hours or days". [JAMA Psychiatry was formerly known as the Archives of General Psychiatry]. see Reference 4

In the journal Science the lead author of many of the studies referenced above explained that the very transient relief from depression induced by sleep deprivation can be sustained for many months by combining sleep deprivation with properly timed light therapy. (see reference 5). The remission from bipolar depression induced by low intensity green light therapy in these studies was linked to its influence on the internal biological clock, and that the impressive sustained therapeutic response in patients was related to the strong shift in circadian phase induced by the low-intensity green light from Lo-LIGHT lamps. (see Chronobiology International ref in Reference 5).

The benefits of chronotherapeutical interventions, including the combination of Sleep Deprivation and Light Therapy were summarized in Sleep Medicine Reviews. The authors recommend that because of the demonstrated efficacy and the lack of any adverse side effects this chronotherapeutic intervention be adopted as a first line intervention for bipolar depression. Reference 5

A collaborative study by the Canadian Defense Research Centre and the US Air Force directly compared the effectiveness of 350 lux from a Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT green light with 1500 to 8000 lux of light from other products. In this independent study on the effectiveness of different light therapy products for influencing human physiology, as determined by nocturnal melatonin suppression or the shifting of circadian rhythms, the Lo-LIGHT lamp was superior to a green LED visor (the Feel Bright Light©) or a device that primarily emits blue light, peak 465nm (The Litebook®), even though the Lo-LIGHT provided less than 5% of the light intensity of the other products; whether the intensity is measured by energy or by photon count.

Harvard University's Department of Sleep Medicine has also determined that Sunnex Biotechnologies green light technology is superior to blue light technologies for influencing human physiology. Based on their studies on the influence of different visible light wavelengths (i.e. colors of light) on human circadian systems, Harvard determined that "the most efficacious specialized light source should have a peak near 500nm [GreenLIGHT] (as opposed to ~470nm [blue light] as the lamps produced by Philips Lighting, Eindhoven, Netherlands,... Read More

See also

Studies on The use of Light to Improve Alertness and Performance of Night Shift Workers



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The Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT phototherapy lamp comes with a five year warranty. Details

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