Sit, D.K. et al. (2018)
American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(2): 131

The manic symptoms of bipolar disorder are effectively treated with mood stabilizers such as valproate and lithium, but it’s pretty difficult to safely manage depression symptoms using these medications. In this study, 46 adults with bipolar I or II disorder with elevated depressive symptoms were randomized to receive a 7,000-lux bright light unit or a 50-lux dim red light unit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
They used their machine midday, starting at 15 minutes per day, and increased by 15 minutes per week to a target duration of 60 minutes daily (in addition to their current therapy). This gradual increase is different from other light therapy studies, as it aims to minimize hypomania and headaches from this intervention by building tolerance. Participants were evaluated after 6 weeks. Those with bright light therapy scored lower on the SIGH-ADS (Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Scale With Atypical Depression Supplement) than those with the dim light (mean 9.2 versus 14.9) and a higher remission rate as well (68.2% vs. 22.2%). These improvements were seen after 4 weeks with minimal side effects. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sit, D. K., et al. (2018). Adjunctive bright light therapy for bipolar depression: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. The American Journal of Psychiatry. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16101200