A new double blind placebo controlled study from Chinese University of Hong Kong, published at Cambridge University Press proves that Sun Touch Plus is effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mental illnesses with significant morbidities and mortalities. The goal of this treatment was to achieve remission of the illness. Non-remission of depression not only leads to significant personal distress but also is associated with various adverse outcomes.
The study proved that about 20% of patients with unipolar non-seasonal depression were found to have evening-chronotype, and they had higher non-remission rate, worse depressive and insomnia symptoms, as well as higher suicidality, as compared to their counterparts with intermediate/morning chronotypes. In order to test out the effect of bight light participants were randomly allocated to receive 5 weeks of either bright white light therapy (BLT) or dim red light (DRL) with the same advancement protocol. Participants were followed up till 5 months after treatment. The analysis showed that patients in the BLT group had a higher probability of achieving remission relative to patients in the DRL group.
“Light therapy has been well established as an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Two recent randomized controlled trials also showed that light treatment resulted in a higher remission of depressive symptoms in patients with non-seasonal depression. In addition, light therapy was shown to hasten the effect of antidepres- sants when used as an adjunctive treatment for non-seasonal depression patients.”
The study also says that “apart from improving mood symptoms, light was shown to be effective in phase-shifting the human circadian rhythm, and has been used as a treatment for phase advancing in patients with delayed sleep wake phase disorder.”
The bright light therapy (BLT) group had a greater improvement in depressive symptoms, a higher remission rate of depression, and other better clinical outcomes, e.g. less sleep disturbance and better quality of life, as compared to the control group (dim red light, DRL).”
The conclusion is that “the use of bright light therapy with gradual advance protocol is an effective adjunctive treatment resulting in quicker and a higher rate of remission of depression in patients with non-seasonal unipolar depression and evening-chronotype.” The data introduced by this study is bringing hope for major depressive disorder patients.