For over 2 decades low-intensity Lo-LIGHT therapy lamps have been used by numerous customers to obtain the benefits of light therapy for sleep and mood disorders, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD or Winter Depression). The use of light therapy to treat depression started with the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Over time studies indicated that the relief of depressive symptoms in people suffering from Winter Depression was related to the influence that light therapy had on the internal clock of body clock of the user.
Researchers using Lo-LIGHT lamps also have also discovered that using light therapy to influence the the internal clock could also be used to alleviate the depressive symptoms of people suffering from non-seasonal major depression and bipolar depression. The use of light therapy to regulate the internal clock, also called chronotherapy, has now been shown in several studies by a number of different research groups to provide sustained and effective relief for people suffering from non-seasonal bipolar depression and major depression.
Many of the pioneering studies demonstrating the effectiveness of chronotherapy for the treatment of non-seasonal depression used Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT lamps. The low intensity (400 lux) green light from a Lo-LIGHT lamp was found to provide dramatic benefits in the treatment of non-seasonal depression. For example, a study using Sunnex Biotechnologies patented low intensity Lo-LIGHT lamps which demonstrated the effectiveness of chronotherapy for treating non-seasonal bipolar depression was published in JAMA Psychiatry, the American Medical Association's authoritative journal on psychiatry. The authors of that paper stated that the side-effect-free treatment of "repeated total sleep deprivation (TSD) and light therapy (LT) has been shown to cause rapid and sustained antidepressant effects that occur in a matter of hours or days." (JAMA Psychiatry was formerly titled the Archives of General Psychiatry)
An earlier study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry using a one week treatment protocol incorporating repeated sleep deprivation and low-intensity green light therapy found that the majority of patients suffering from bipolar depression who did not hve a history of drug resistance remained symptom free for the entire 9 month follow-up period. Other studies have found that cessation of light therapy in the treatment of non-seasonal depression results in a more rapid relapse, indicating that the relief from bipolar depression resulting from the GreenLIGHT/sleep deprivation protocol in Benedetti's study would have been further improved if the use of low intensity green light therapy lamps been maintained after the one week sleep deprivation/light therapy protocol.
In an article published in the journal Science on the 25th anniversary of the first paper published by Lewy et al on the use of light therapy for the treatment of winter depression, Dr. Benedetti, the lead author of many of the studies using low intensity green light to treat non-seasonal depression, describes how light therapy extends the very transient antidepressant effect of sleep deprivation from one day to several months or longer. This ability of light therapy to convert the transient antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation to a sustained response is also discussed in the paper Chronotherapeutics in a Psychiatric Ward. Sleep Med Rev. 2007 Dec;11(6):509-22. (see link to depression studies below)
The authors explained their choice to use low intensity green light rather than bright light therapy lamps in studies on bipolar depression in order to avoid eye damage in patients taking lithium, as lithium, like a number of medications used to treat mood disorders, increases the susceptibility to retinal damage from exposure to high intensity light.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry used Lo-LIGHT therapy lamps
from Sunnex Biotechnologies to treat patients suffering with severe Major Depression. That study also found
dramatic benefits from the use of Lo-LIGHT therapy lamp in combination with an antidepressant medication.
The authors of that paper described the importance of low intensity green light to avoid retinal damage, as the
antidepressant medications being used by some of the subjects in the study are photosensitizing and they
did not want to risk causing retinal damage by using bright light therapy.
See studies on the treatment of non-seasonal depression with Lo-LIGHT lamps
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The Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT phototherapy lamp comes with a five year warranty. Details