Light Therapy for Bipolar Disorder. Efficacy of Light Therapy for Bipolar Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Sponsored by University of Pittsburgh

Phase Quota
Phase 3

The purpose of this study is to understand the efficacy of light therapy for bipolar depression.

Study Start Date: May 2009

Estimated Completion Date: February 2015

Specialties: Internal Medicine: Psychiatry Nursing: Mental Health Psychiatry: Anxiety Family Medicine: Psychiatry Physician Assistant: Psychiatry


  • Device: active light therapy unit
  • Device: Inactive light therapy unit

Inclusion criteria

  • Ages 18-65 years
  • DSM-IV Criteria BD I or II depressive episode,
  • SIGH-ADS >20; duration >2 weeks
  • Stable dose antidepressant drug >8 weeks with concurrent antimanic drug
  • Controlled thyroid disease
  • Subjects with preexisting eye diseases will be included
  • Able to provide informed consent
  • Stable minimum dose antimanic drug >4weeks: lithium 0.5 mEq/L, divalproex Na 50 mcg/mL, olanzapine 5mg daily, carbamazepine 4mg/L; lamotrigine 100mg daily, risperidone 2mg daily, quetiapine 400 mg daily, ziprasidone 10 mg bid, and aripiprazole 5 mg qd
  • Stable unchanged psychotherapy for >16weeks

Exclusion criteria

  • The following eye diseases: retinal disease, cataract surgery and lens removal, macular degeneration,
  • Taking photosensitizing drugs such as phenothiazines (chlorpromazine), antimalarial drugs, melatonin and hypericum
  • Acute psychosis (DSM-IV Criteria)
  • Rapid cycling in the past 1 year
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Alcohol or substance abuse or dependence in the past 6 months
  • MRS>5
  • Recent history of a suicide attempt (3 months) or active suicidal Ideation (SIGHADS item H11 >2)
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers, exogenous melatonin, chronic NSAIDS

Study Locations And Contact Information

  • University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

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