Bright light treatment as mono-therapy of non-seasonal depression for 28 adolescents

Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2012 Sep;16(3):233-7. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2011.625123. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Abstract

Background: Bright light therapy, an effective therapeutic option for depressive adults, could provide safe, economic, and effective rapid recovery also in adolescents.

Methods: Twenty-eight volunteers, between 14 and 17 years old and suffering from mild depressive disorder according to DSM-IV criteria, completed the study. This was a randomized cross-over trial, i.e. that 14 patients received first placebo (50 lux) for 1 h a day for 1 week and then bright light therapy (2,500 Lux) for 1 week. Fourteen patients received first bright light therapy and then placebo. For assessment of depressive symptoms, Beck's depression inventory scales were administered 1 week before and 1 day before placebo treatment, on the day between placebo and verum treatment, on the day after verum treatment and 1 week after verum treatment. Saliva melatonin and cortisol samples were collected at 08:00 and 20:00 h, 1 week before and 1 day before placebo treatment, on the day between placebo and verum treatment, on the day after verum treatment and 1 week after verum treatment and assayed for melatonin and cortisol to observe any change in circadian timing.

Results: BDI scores improved significantly. The assays of saliva showed significant differences between treatment and placebo. No significant adverse reactions were observed.

Conclusion: Antidepressant response to bright light treatment in this age group was statistically superior to placebo.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / metabolism
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • Melatonin / metabolism
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Placebos
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Placebos
  • Melatonin
  • Hydrocortisone