Research Study of Treatment for Winter Depression With Different Colors of Light

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00269633
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 23, 2005
Results First Posted : March 28, 2016
Last Update Posted : March 28, 2016
Apollo Health Systems
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Thomas Jefferson University

Brief Summary:

The specific aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that light stimuli concentrated around 467 nm will evoke a significantly stronger therapeutic response in SAD patients compared to light stimuli concentrated around 657 nm at an equal photon density.

The secondary objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of different colors and levels of light in order to optimize therapeutic benefit, while also minimizing side effects and maintaining safety of light exposure.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Seasonal Affective Disorder Device: Blue Light Box 467 nm Device: Red Light Box 657 nm Phase 2

Detailed Description:
Studies report as many as 1 out of every 5 Americans is affected by mild to severe Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, winter depression). Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, bright light has proven to be an effective therapeutic treatment for many people with SAD. The light sources that have been traditionally used for treatment of SAD produce white light with great variability in the balance of wavelengths that are emitted across the visible spectrum. Although several studies have attempted to test the effectiveness of different wavelengths for treatment of SAD, the devices used in those studies employed broad bandwidths of light. With the technological advancements in light emitting diodes (LEDs) the production of new light therapy equipment with much narrower bandwidths of light is possible. Side effects of exposure to traditional white light therapy for SAD have included hypomanic activation, irritability, headache, eyestrain and nausea. We hypothesize that when the wavelength of light therapy is optimized, it should be feasible to elicit strong therapeutic benefits with lower light intensities and fewer side effects. Previous studies, approved by the Jefferson IRB and successfully completed by our laboratory have shown that some colors of light are more effective in treating SAD than other colors.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 9 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Care Provider)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Optimizing Light Wavelength for Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Study Start Date : November 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2008
Actual Study Completion Date : May 2008

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: Red Light Box 657 nm
Red Light Box 657 nm
Device: Red Light Box 657 nm
657 nm Red LED Light

Active Comparator: Blue Light Box 467 nm
Blue Light Box 467 nm
Device: Blue Light Box 467 nm
467 nm Blue LED Light

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Scale - Seasonal Affective Disorder Version (SIGH-SAD); Weekly for Three Weeks [ Time Frame: Averaged over Three Weeks During Treatment ]
    Outcome for Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Scale - Seasonal Affective Disorder Version (SIGH-SAD) reported is the average over 3 weeks. Lower values represent less depressive symptoms. Range is 0-53.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Clinical diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Over 18 years old
  • Stable sleeping pattern with a bedtime no later than 1 a.m.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant women
  • Concurrent psychiatric illness that would preclude compliance with the protocol
  • active suicidal or homicidal ideation or plan
  • variable psychiatric illness (i.e. rapid cycling disorder or severe premenstrual syndrome)
  • individuals with substance abuse or dependence who have not been in remission for at least one year
  • individuals taking photosensitizing medications
  • individuals with macular degeneration or other ocular conditions which might be adversely affected by light
  • less then six weeks after onset of psychotherapeutic treatment

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00269633

United States, Pennsylvania
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19107
Sponsors and Collaborators
Thomas Jefferson University
Apollo Health Systems
Principal Investigator: George C Brainard, Ph.D. Thomas Jefferson University


Responsible Party: Thomas Jefferson University Identifier: NCT00269633     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 080-19000-J11401
First Posted: December 23, 2005    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: March 28, 2016
Last Update Posted: March 28, 2016
Last Verified: March 2016
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Keywords provided by Thomas Jefferson University:
Seasonal Affective Disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Mood Disorders
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Mental Disorders
Depressive Disorder