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- Morton E, Michalak EE, Levitt AJ, Levitan RD, Cheung AH, Morehouse R, Ramasubbu R, Yatham LN, Tam EM, Lam RW. Quality of life impacts of bright light treatment, fluoxetine, and the combination in patients with nonseasonal major depressive disorder: A randomized clinical trial. Can J Psychiatry 66:289-297, 2021.
This study examines quality of life outcomes in the LIFE-D study of light therapy for nonseasonal depression.
- Lam RW, Teng MY, Jung YE, Evans VC, Gottlieb JF, Michalak EE, Murphy JK, Chakrabarty T, Yatham LN, Sit DK. Light therapy for patients with bipolar depression: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Can J Psychiatry 65:290-300, 2020.
This is the first systematic review and meta-analysis finding that light therapy has evidence for efficacy for bipolar depression.
- Gottlieb JF, Benedetti F, Geoffroy PA, Henriksen TEG, Lam RW, Murray G, Phelps J, Sit DK, Swartz HA, Crowe M, Etain B, Frank E, Goel N, Haarman BCM, Inder M, Kallestad H, Kim SJ, Martiny K, Meesters Y, Porter R, Riemersma-van der Lek RF, Ritter PS, Schulte PFJ, Scott J, Wu JC, Yu X, Chen S. The chronotherapeutic treatment of bipolar disorders: A systematic review and recommendations from the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) Task Force on Chronotherapy and Chronobiology. Bipolar Disorders 21:673-805, 2019.
This international group of experts provide evidence and recommendations for light therapy in bipolar disorder.
- Levitan RD, Levitt AJ, Michalak EE, Cheung A, Morehouse R, Ramasubbu R, Yatham LN, Tam EM, Lam RW. Appetitive symptoms differentially predict treatment response to medication, light and placebo in non-seasonal major depression. J Clin Psychiatry 79:17m11856, 2018.
This study found that increased appetite is an important predictive feature for response to light therapy in nonseasonal depression.
- Ravindran AV, Balneaves L, Faulkner G, Ortiz A, McIntosh D, Morehouse R, Ravindran L, Yatham LN, Kennedy SH, Lam RW, MacQueen G, Parikh SV, Milev RV, CANMAT Depression Work Group. CANMAT 2016 clinical guidelines for the management of adults with major depressive disorder. Section 5. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments. Can J Psychiatry 61:576-587, 2016.
The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatment evidence-based clinical guidelines recommend light therapy as a first-line treatment for seasonal depression and a second-line treatment for nonseasonal depression.
- Lam RW, Levitt AJ, Levitan RD, Michalak EE, Cheung AH, Morehouse R, Ramasubbu R, Yatham LN, Tam EM. Efficacy of Bright Light Treatment, Fluoxetine, and the Combination in Patients With Nonseasonal Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry 2016; 73:56-63.
This is the first study to show that light therapy is effective in NON-seasonal depression compared to a sham control condition, but combining light with antidepressant was the most effective.
- Song C, Luchtman D, Kang Z, Tam EM, Yatham LN, Lam RW. Enhanced inflammatory and T-helper-1 type responses but suppressed lymphocyte proliferation in patients with seasonal affective disorder and treated by light therapy. J Affect Disord 185:90-96, 2015.
This study found lower immune function in SAD that “improved” with light therapy.
- Cheung A, Dewa C, Michalak EE, et al. Direct health care costs of treating seasonal affective disorder: a comparison of light therapy and fluoxetine. Depress Res Treat 2012.
A paper comparing the direct mental health care costs of treatment with fluoxetine versus light therapy for patients with SAD, based on data from the Can-SAD study.
- Lavoie MP, Lam RW, Bouchard G, et al. Evidence of a biological effect of light therapy on the retina of patients with seasonal affective disorder. Biol Psychiatry 1;66(3):253-8 2009.
Electroretinogram (ERG) was used to assess seasonal changes in retinal function in patients with SAD and healthy participants, as well as in patients following 4 weeks of light therapy. Depressed patients with SAD demonstrated ERG changes in the winter compared with healthy comparison subjects, with lower rod retinal sensitivity and lower cone maximal amplitude. These changes normalized following 4 weeks of light therapy and during the summer, suggesting that ERG changes are state markers for SAD.
- Lam RW: Addressing circadian rhythm disturbances in depressed patients. J Psychopharmacol 22(7 Suppl):13-8 2008.
An article exploring circadian rhythm disturbances in depression and newer antidepressants.
- Westrin A, Lam RW: Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Clinical Update. Annals Clin Psyt 19:239–246, 2007.
A paper reviewing and synthesizing results from various scientific and clinical research studies of the diagnosis, treatments, and pathogenesis of SAD in the past 10 years, providing an important update for clinicians who treat patients with SAD and related conditions.
- Westrin A, Lam RW: Long-term and preventative treatment for seasonal affective disorder. CNS Spectrums 21(11):901-9 2007.
A review of studies of long-term and preventative treatment options for SAD, including bright light therapy and antidepressants, with recommendations for clinical guidelines for preventative and maintenance treatments for SAD.
- Michalak EE, Murray G, Levitt AJ, et al. Quality of life as an outcome indicator in patients with seasonal affective disorder: results from the Can-SAD study. Psychol Med 37(5):727-36 2007.
A paper examining quality of life (QoL) in patients with SAD using data from the Can-SAD study. SAD is associated with markedly impaired QoL during the winter months, with both light therapy and antidepressant medication treatments being associated with marked improvement in this important outcome.
- Desan PH, Weinstein AJ, Michalak EE, et al. A controlled trial of the Litebook light-emitting diode (LED) light therapy device for treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). BMC Psychiatry 7:38 2007.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial of an LED light therapy device in the treatment of SAD.
- Lam RW, Levitt AJ, Levitan RD, et al.: The Can-SAD study: a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of light therapy and fluoxetine in patients with winter seasonal affective disorder. Am J Psychiatry 163(5):805-12 2006.
A Canada-wide randomized controlled trial comparing the efficacy of light therapy to fluoxetine (Prozac) for treating patients with SAD. Both treatments were found equally effective, but light therapy had fewer side effects for patients.
- Enns MW, Cox BJ, Levitt AJ, et al. Personality and seasonal affective disorder: results from the CAN-SAD study. J Affect Disord 93(1-3):35-42 2006.
A study investigating the relationship between the five-factor model of personality (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness) and SAD.
- Murray G, Michalak EE, Levitt AJ, et al. Therapeutic mechanism in seasonal affective disorder: do fluoxetine and light operate through advancing circadian phase? Chronobiol Int 22(5):937-43 2005.
A study examining whether effective treatment of winter Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is mediated by advancing of circadian phase.
- Sohn CH, Lam RW: Update on the Biology of SAD. CNS Spectrums 10(8):635-46 2005.
A review of new findings on the major biological hypotheses for SAD, focusing on circadian rhythms, neurotransmitters, and molecular genetics and discussing integrative issues and future directions for the study of SAD.
- Michalak EE, Tam EM, Manjunath CV, et al. Hard times and good friends: negative life events and social support in patients with seasonal and nonseasonal depression. Can J Psychiatry 49(6):408-11 2004.
- Lam RW, Tam EM, Yatham LN, Shiah IS, Zis AP. Seasonal depression: the dual vulnerability hypothesis revisited. J Affect Disord 63(1-3):123-32 2001.
A paper discussing the clinical characteristics of SAD and other depressive conditions involving seasonal components (incomplete summer remission (ISR) and subsyndromal SAD), their response to treatment with light therapy, and implications for a dual-vulnerability model of winter depression consisting of depressive and seasonal components.
- Lam RW, Levitan RD: Pathophysiology of Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Review. J Psychiatry Neuroscience 25(5):469-80 2000.
A paper reviewing studies on the pathophysiology of SAD, with an emphasis on circadian, neurotransmitter, and genetic hypotheses.