Practical application of bright light therapy

Authors: L. Janů;  S. Racková
Authors‘ workplace: Psychiatrická klinika FN a LF UK v Plzni ;  Přednosta: doc. MUDr. Jiří Beran, CSc.
Published in: Prakt. Lék. 2010; 90(1): 6-10
Category: Reviews


Bright light therapy is a rapid and effective treatment. It has been demonstrated that the size of the effect is the same as with antidepressants of reference in seasonal affective disorders (first choice indication), but occurs sooner. The contraindications are rare and adverse events mild. It can be used in other different pathologies such as major depression, and many other disorders of the circadian rhythm (e.g. luteal phase dysphoric disorder = premenstrual dysphoric disorder, dementia, addiction and depression in children, pregnancy and old age), whether they are of primary or secondary origin. In this article we summarize the mode of action of bright light and data about efficacy and safety with regards to evidence-based medicine. Bright light therapy can also be viewed as an alternative to the pharmacological approach especially when this is of high risk, not tolerated or not accepted by the patient.

Key words:
bright light therapy, seasonal affective disorders, major depression, addiction, pregnancy, dementia, circadial rhythm disorders.


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