, Volume 119, Issue 10, pp 1167-1172,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Bright light therapy in the treatment of childhood and adolescence depression, antepartum depression, and eating disorders


Circadian rhythm disorders represent an important component underlying the pathology of depression. One of the subtypes of depression, in which these disorders may play a crucial role, is the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The bright light therapy (BLT) has been reported as a novel, promising treatment method for SAD since 1984, and most of the data revealing its efficacy has been referred to adult patients, without comorbid disorders. However, in the recent years, more and more reports have been presented, which confirm the usefulness of BLT in some specific subpopulations of patients, including children, adolescents and pregnant women. The present review summarizes the applications of BLT in antepartum depression, childhood and adolescence depression as well as in patients suffering from eating disorders. Although the body of evidence is still too small to recommend the use of BLT as the first line of treatment for the depression or eating disorders in these patient subpopulations; it appears that BLT may be a useful alternative or adjunctive therapy for these diseases. However, the specific clinical applications of BLT in these areas need further investigation.