Light therapy may ease depression any time – Not just winter blues!

This is a great news for depression sufferers, researchers indicated that depression treatment with light therapy was very effective. 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, Study at University of British Columbia suggests.

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.

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.

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. Read details here