By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Light therapy, long used to help improve mood in people who get the blues when days are darker and shorter, can also treat non-seasonal depression, a small Canadian study suggests. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders and a leading cause of disability and reduced quality of life worldwide, the researchers note in JAMA Psychiatry. While many people with depression may be helped by medication or psychotherapy, these options don’t work for everybody and some patients don’t stick with treatment due to side effects or challenges related to access or affordability. “This study is the first to show that light therapy alone is effective versus a placebo, and the first to compare combination light and drug to light alone,” said lead study author Dr. Raymond Lam of the University of British Columbia. “The combination of light therapy and antidepressant was the most effective,” Lam added by email. “However, some people may prefer to try a non-medication treatment first, and may elect to start with light therapy.” To test the effectiveness of light therapy for non-seasonal depression, Lam and colleagues randomly assigned 122 patients to one of four groups for eight weeks: only medication, only light, a combination of drugs and light therapy, or a control group that received no active treatments. The active treatments in the study included a daily 20-milligram dose of fluoxetine (Prozac) and daily exposure to a fluorescent light box for 30 minutes after waking up each morning. Researchers gave people assigned only light therapy a placebo, or inactive pill, and they provided participants assigned only to drug treatment with an inactive device instead of a working light box. The control group received both the placebo pill and the inactive device. At the start of the study, researchers used a standard questionnaire to assess the severity of depression by asking participants about sadness, inner tension, reduced sleep, reduced appetite, concentration difficulties, lack of energy, inability to feel, and pessimistic or suicidal thoughts. The highest score is 60, indicating the most severe depression. On average, participants had scores of about 26 or 27 at the start of the study, pointing to moderate depression. After eight weeks, the group receiving both medication and light therapy had the biggest average drop in depression scores, with a 16.9 point decline. People who got only light therapy had an average 13.4 point decline in depression scores, while people who had only medication experienced an 8.8 point drop and the control group getting only inactive treatments had a 6.5 point decrease. While the exact reason light therapy might ease depression is unknown, it may have worked by helping to reset the biological clock in the brain, or circadian rhythms, the researchers hypothesized. One shortcoming of the study is that researchers lacked data on how much exposure people had to natural light during the study, the authors acknowledge. It’s also possible that a higher dose of medication or light therapy might have made a bigger impact. Normally, if an antidepressant doesn’t work in a low dose, clinicians will gradually increase the dose to help achieve the right amount of medicine to ease symptoms, noted Dr. Teodor Postolache, a psychiatry researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore who wasn’t involved in the study. “Light treatment could be an adequate agent that in combination with medications may make the response to treatment more complete,” Postolache said by email. “However, I would emphasize that patients should not buy a light treatment device and start adding it to their antidepressants on their own.” The best time in the course of treatment to consider light therapy may also depend on the severity of symptoms, said Sue Penckofer, a researcher at Loyola University in Chicago who wasn’t involved in the study. “If somebody has more mild depression they might try light therapy first, but if they have more moderate or serious depression medication might be recommended instead,” Penckofer said. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1MppYER JAMA Psychiatry, online November 18, 2015.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- The Daily Beast
Texas DPS/InstagramUVALDE, Texas—The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire at a Texas elementary school, killing at least 19 kids and two adults, bought two assault rifles on his birthday and appeared to send some ominous Instagram messages just hours before the massacre.Although Salvador Ramos was described as “quiet” by numerous people who knew him, a young woman who worked with him at Wendy’s until March detected an aggressive streak. Several former friends said he had stopped showing up at scho
- USA TODAY
Alleged Texas school shooting gunman identified: What we know about the suspect, his motive and more.
At least 18 children and as many as 3 adults were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, officials say. Here's what we know about gunman.
People Are Praising This Woman For Her Simple Solution To Getting Rid Of Camel Toe When Wearing Biker Shorts Or Leggings
"Saw this at 5 a.m., tried it at 8 a.m. — confirming at 11 a.m. that IT WORKS. YOU ARE AN ANGEL!"View Entire Post ›
Karlyn Serane Ramirez wanted to make the world a better place and thought joining the Army was the best way to do that. Her greatest danger, however, was her relationship with another soldier. She grew up in Del Rio, Texas and came from a long line of military women. Both her mother and aunt had served and she followed in their path. “She went to college for a few years, got an associate’s degree, and then decided that the military would probably be a better fit for her,” sister Roxanna Ramirez
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sen. Ted Cruz was ripped in angry and profanity-laced reactions to his social media post about the Uvalde shooting.
- The Daily Beast
via Facebook A church pastor in Indiana publicly confessed to his congregation this week that he’d committed “adultery” two decades ago—but he was quickly called out by a woman who took the stage to say she had only been 16 when he preyed on her.The public confrontation that played out Sunday at the New Life Christian Church and World Outreach in Warsaw has now sparked an investigation by local prosecutors in Kosciusko County, according to local reports.Video of the incident shot by an attendee
- NBC Sports BayArea
Steph Curry, LeBron James and other NBA players supported Steve Kerr's message to politicians in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
- The El Paso Times
An active shooter was reported at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas Tuesday, the school district said in a statement on Twitter.
Johnny Depp's trial went off the rails as Amber Heard's lawyer accused a witness of following a Depp superfan identified as 'That Umbrella Guy' on Twitter
Morgan Night appeared to contradict testimony Amber Heard gave about "the Hicksville incident." He said a trailer the couple slept in wasn't trashed.
- Ukrayinska Pravda
ALIONA MAZURENKO - TUESDAY, 24 MAY 2022, 16:19 A [Russian] fighter has been shot down in the skies over Ukraine, and Kanamat Botashev, a retired Major General of the Russian Air Force, was killed. Source: Russian edition of BBC with reference to Botashov's three former subordinates Details: Subordinates who had kept in touch with Botashev after leaving the service agreed to comment on condition of anonymity for reasons of personal safety.
Meghan Markle showcased her polo match style now that she isn't a working royal—and had one of her grandest PDA moments with Prince Harry while at it.
Pictures of the Food From Kourtney and Travis’s Wedding Have Been Released and People Have *Questions*
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker held their lavish wedding over the weekend, but since pictures of the food have been released people have questions.
Ice-T and his wife, Coco Austin, are catching heat for pushing their 6-year-old daughter Chanel in a stroller while visiting Atlantis Bahamas in the Caribbean.
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker Take a Lovers' Leap from a Superyacht One Day After Their Wedding
Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian tied the knot over the weekend during a romantic Italian ceremony attended by close friends and family
- AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego hurled profanity at Sen. Ted Cruz over worries that Democrats and the media would seek to curb gun rights after a shooting.
- Daytona Beach News-Journal
Denny Hamlin didn't hold back following Sunday's ... late ... caution that nearly cost Ryan Blaney a million dollars.
Kourtney Kardashian married Travis Barker in Italy over the weekend, and her brother Rob Kardashian skipped the event—here's why.
The woman has maple syrup urine disease, which requires her to consume formula to prevent her brain from swelling.
- Business Insider
One place you won't find guns in the wake of the Texas school massacre? The NRA's upcoming leadership conference in Houston this week.
An NRA memo said the restrictions were due to US Secret Service firearm guidelines as former President Donald Trump is slated to speak at the forum.
- The New York Times
POKROVSK, Ukraine — Camouflaged in a heap of branches cut from nearby trees, the weapon that Ukraine hopes will make a critical difference in its war with Russia is all but invisible from more than a few feet away. Soon, a single round shoots out with a boom and a howling, metallic shriek as it sails toward Russian positions. It is the American-made M777 howitzer. It shoots farther, moves faster and is hidden more easily, and it’s what the Ukrainian military has been waiting for. Sign up for The