Light therapy in patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder: Preliminary results

E. Leibenluft, E. H. Turner, S. Feldman-Naim, P. J. Schwartz, T. A. Wehr, N. E. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nine patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder were treated with a total of 13 trials of bright light therapy in the morning (r=5), evening (n=3), or midday (n=5). In each instance, the patient's mood ratings during 3 months of light therapy (added to a stable medication regimen) were compared to his or her mood ratings during 3 months on the same medication but without light treatment. Of the 3 light therapy schedules, only midday lights appeared to have beneficial clinical effects, improving mood ratings in 3 patients. In contrast, the morning light therapy trial was terminated prematurely in 3 patients because of clinical instability. Light treatment was better tolerated if patients discontinued it on days when they were hypomanic. The clinical and theoretical implications of these preliminary findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-710
Number of pages6
JournalPsychopharmacology Bulletin
Volume31
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995

Keywords

  • bipolar disorder
  • circadian rhythms
  • light therapy
  • melatonin
  • rapid cycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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    Leibenluft, E., Turner, E. H., Feldman-Naim, S., Schwartz, P. J., Wehr, T. A., & Rosenthal, N. E. (1995). Light therapy in patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder: Preliminary results. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 31(4), 705-710.