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Low Intensity 'Blue Light' Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder

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: NCT01149135
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 23, 2010
Last Update Posted : August 10, 2011
Information provided by:
University Medical Center Groningen

Brief Summary:
One of the most frequently investigated hypothesis of the pathophysiology underlying Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) or so called winter depression is a disturbance of circadian rhythms. Since the circadian system is especially sensitive for the blue portion of the light spectrum, a new light therapy device with more blue light (blue enriched polychromatic light) was tested for its efficacy to treat SAD. In chronobiological terms this light is hypothesized to be more potent in inducing non-visual effects. In the present study fluorescent tubes that emit a high portion of short wavelength light on top of the normal wavelengths are tested for its superiority in treating SAD. This blue-enriched light (colour temperature 17000 ºK) is compared to standard light treatment (5000 º K) in SAD patients.,In a earlier study it was shown that the therapeutic effect of blue enriched light were equal to standard light treatment using light in both conditions with an intensity of 10 000 lux. In the present study, blue enriched light with an intensity of 750 lux was used, because of the possible saturation effect in the former study. The investigators hypothesise that blue- enriched light with a low intensity improve the therapeutic effects of light treatment leading to a higher response or the same response in a shorter time schedule compared to standard light treatment.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Seasonal Affective Disorder Device: Blue enriched light with a low intensity Device: standard light treatment Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 22 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized and Controlled Study of the Effects of Low Intensity 'Blue Light'in the Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Study Start Date : October 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : March 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Standard light treatment
standard light treatment 5000K; 10 000 lux
Device: standard light treatment
standard light treatment, 30 minutes, 10 000 lux
Other Name: Philips Energylight HF 3309, 2 lamps PLL36 W, color 5000K, 10 000 lux

Experimental: blue enriched light
Blue enriched light with a low intensity (750 lux)
Device: Blue enriched light with a low intensity
30 minutes in the morning, 750 lux
Other Names:
  • Blue enriched light treatment
  • Philips energy light HF 3309, 2 lamps PLL36 W 17000 K

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. SIGH-SAD [ Time Frame: weekly ]
    Structured Interview Guide of the Hamilton Depression Scale, seasonal affective disorder version

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age 18-65
  • Diagnose of Seasonal Affective Disorder, winter type according to DSM-IV SIGH SAD rating Higher then or equal to 18 on day 1
  • No other treatments for mood disorder during the study
  • Stay in the Netherlands during the study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Other axis-I disorders according to the DSM-IV
  • Acute suicide risk
  • Use of psychotropic drugs or photosensitizing drugs
  • No other treatments for mood disorder during the study
  • Diabetes or epilepsy
  • Regular shift work
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Responsible Party: Ybe Meesters PhD, University Medical Center Groningen Identifier: NCT01149135    
Other Study ID Numbers: METc 2008.184
First Posted: June 23, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 10, 2011
Last Verified: October 2008
Keywords provided by University Medical Center Groningen:
Seasonal Affective Disorder
circadian rhythms
blue enriched light
low intensity
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Mood Disorders
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Pathologic Processes
Mental Disorders
Depressive Disorder