Light therapy has long been used to treat seasonal affective disorder or SAD, but it’s effects on those dealing with depression throughout the year were not well-known.
Now Toronto researchers have found patients with non-seasonal depression treated with light therapy and an anti-depressant saw major improvement compared to those who received just one of the therapies.
Co-author Dr. Anthony Levitt, a psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, says adding light therapy to medication during the eight-week study reduced patients symptoms much more quickly.
He adds researchers were surprised by just how effective the combination proved to be.
”Light therapy is a low-cost treatment option with few side-effects and our findings show it could benefit many patients.”
The study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, involved 122 patients across Canada and is believed to be the largest study of its kind to date.