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Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2002 Apr;23(2):109-13.

Bright light therapy and/or imipramine for inpatients with recurrent non-seasonal depression.

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Psychiatric centre Prague, 3rd Medical Faculty Charles University Prague, Czech Republic.



The aim of a double-blind study was to assess the efficacy of bright light therapy and/or imipramine in the treatment of inpatients suffering with recurrent non-seasonal major depressive disorder.


34 in-patients with DSM-III-R diagnosis of major depressive disorder, recurrent type, were randomly allocated into 3 treatment groups. After 4-day washout period with baseline assessment they underwent 3 weeks of different types of treatment: a) Group A: bright light therapy (5000 lux from 6-8 a.m.) and imipramine 150 mg/day. b) Group B: bright light therapy (5000 lux from 6-8 a.m.) and imipramine-like placebo. c) Group C: dim red light (500 lux from 6-8 a.m.) and imipramine 150 mg/day. Outcome measures included weekly Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression, Clinical Global Impression Scale, Montgomery and Asberg Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression and Beck Depression Inventory.


Patients of all three groups improved significantly. The improvement of the patients of group B treated with bright light therapy plus placebo was superior to the other two groups, but not significantly.


Bright light therapy can be effective in the treatment of non-seasonal major depressive disorder.

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