Pathophysiological mechanism of seasonal affective disorder

Tatia M.C. LEE, Carl A. BLASHKO, Henry L. JANZEN, John G. PATERSON, Che Hin Chetwyn CHAN

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Despite the long history in medicine, the pathophysiological mechanism(s) of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) remain largely unknown. By employing a meta-analytic methodology, the authors of this study attempted to verify the validity of different pathophysiological mechanism(s) proposed for SAD. The findings showed that for phototherapy of medium light intensity, a combination of morning–evening therapy regime yielded the best therapeutic effect, and the antidepressant effect of the morning–evening light regime was superior to a single pulse of light administered at other times of day. Furthermore, the data showed that the antidepressant effect of a single pulse of light was similar for morning, midday, and evening light. These findings supported the photon-count hypothesis and refuted the proposed photoperiod, melatonin, and phase-shifting models of SAD. Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-38
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 1997


Lee, T. M. C., Blashko, C. A., Janzen, H. L., Paterson, J. G., & Chan, C. C. H. (1997). Pathophysiological mechanism of seasonal affective disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 46(1), 25-38. doi: 10.1016/S0165-0327(97)00076-1


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