VIII. Later Demonstrations of Light Therapy for Psychiatric Disorders

Given the success and rapid spread of light therapy for SAD, clinical researchers immediately wondered how far the simple technology could be applied.  Multiple studies—although performed on a smaller scale than for SAD—covered a wide canvas, almost all with encouraging results.

Light therapy also worked for nonseasonal depression, even unremitting chronic depression that didn’t lift for years.  It worked for mothers who became depressed during pregnancy, offering the promise of a reprieve from potentially dangerous drug therapy.  Patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, whether or not they were depressed, showed improvement in cognitive performance, along with a shift earlier in their circadian rhythms. Elderly, institutionalized patients showed mood improvement, and a slowing of cognitive decline.