Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry



Light has recently been reported to be a useful treatment in affective illness (1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6). What type of patients respond to this type of treatment ? What is the theoretical mechanism of action of light therapy and what are the implications of this research for the existing theories of affective illness? This review will seek answers to these questions by summarizing the recently reported studies of the effects of light on depression , by reviewing the pertinent contributions from neuroanatomy, endocrinology and circadian rhythm physiology, and, finally, by suggesting some points of integration of these recent findings with existing theories of depression.

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