References on the history of light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Light Therapy. Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Task Force Report of the American Psychiatric Association. 1989; Vol 3: 1890-1896
N.E. Rosenthal.

"In summary, phototherapy has been shown to be effective in SAD, where it is a viable clinical treatment and, in many cases, the treatment of choice."

The Role of Melatonin and Light in the Human Circadian System. Chapter 14. Progress in Brain Research 1996; 111: 205-216A.
A.J. Lewy and R.L. Sack.

"Ordinary room light, which was used in these studies, was not sufficiently intense to be effective in humans. It seems that humans require brighter light than other animals... [it should be mentioned that some people are more sensitive to light than others]."
"The second implication was that we could substitute bright artificial light for sunlight to experimentally, or perhaps therapeutically, manipulate biological rhythms in humans. This was first tested in a patient that came to us with a complaint of a seasonal mood disorder. He became depressed as the days grew shorter and came out of his depression as the days lengthened. We exposed him to 2000 lux light in the morning and in the afternoon, that is before dawn and after dusk, to effectively lengthen his winter days to those that would be similar to a spring photoperiod when he would spontaneously switch out of his depression. After ten days of light treatment, his depression remitted." Abstract

Seasonality and Affective Illness. American Journal of Psychiatry. 1989;146(7):829-838
T.A. Wehr and N.E. Rosenthal.k.

"winter depression is accompanied by a distinctive constellation of symptoms, including overeating, oversleeping, and carbohydrate craving; that is triggered by light deficiency; and that it responds to a novel type of treatment, phototherapy." Abstract

Seasonal Variations in Body Weight and Metabolism in Hamsters. In Seasonal Affective Disorders and Phototherapy. 1989; 105-126. NE Rosenthal and MC Blehar Eds. Guilford Press New York, London
G.N. Wade.

"Seasonal rhythms have been documented in human beings too. Some examples include conception rates, mortality, growth rate, endocrine activities, and emotional states. ... It has been suggested that the seasonal cycles exhibited by SAD patients are simply exaggerated versions of those seen in the general population.. There is certainly ample evidence for seasonal cycles in body weight and fatness in human beings. In both adults and children, weight gains are reported to be greatest in autumn and winter, and lowest in spring and summer. The prevalence of obesity is generally highest in autumn or winter and lowest in summer. Finally in obese women, weight loss treatments have been reported to be most effective in the spring and least effective in the winter."

Carbohydrates and Depression.. Scientific American 1989; 260(1): 68-75
R.J. Wurtman, and J.J. Wurtman

"Prevalence of SAD in the U.S. varies with latitude. In a northern state such as Minnesota, SAD affects more than 100 people per 1000, whereas in Florida it affects fewer than six people per 100,000" Abstract

Dimensional Measurement of Seasonal Variation in Mood and Behavior. Psychiatric Research 1991; 39:269-284
M.R. Spoont, R.A. Depue, S.S. Krauss.

"Recent epidemiological studies have found that the behaviors that characterize seasonal affective disorder (SAD) show seasonal variation in 92%-95% of the general population suggesting that seasonal variation in behavior and mood is a continuous, dimensional variable extending throughout the general population." Abstract

Evaluation of Seasonality in Six Clinical Populations and Two Normal Populations. Journal of Psychiatric Research 1991; 25(3):75-81
T.A. Hardin, T.A. Wehr, T. Brewerton, S. Kasper, W. Berrettini, J. Rabkin, and N.E. Rosenthal.

"Indeed a great majority of the general population report seasonal changes, and according to the epidemiological studies mentioned above, 20-25% regard these changes as a problem." Abstract

Prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder at Four Latitudes. Psychiatry Research 1990; 31:131-144.
L.N. Rosen, S.D. Targum, M. Terman, M.J. Bryant, H. Hoffman, S. Kasper, J.R. Hamovit, J.P. Docherty, B. Welch, and N.E. Rosentha

"Rates of winter SAD and subsyndromal SAD were found to be significantly higher in the northern latitudes." Abstract