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Medical News & Perspectives
November 11, 1998

Dawn's Early Light to Twilight's Last Gleaming...

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JAMA. 1998;280(18):1556-1558. doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1556-JMN1111-3-1

AT 8 AM, sun worshippers already lay prostrate on the shimmering oceanside beach at Amelia Island, Fla. In a dark, windowless room nearby, present-day priests at the temple of the sun, members of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (SLTBR), convened for rites of their own: a review of advances in their field.

Timed exposure to daylight-intensity light has become the treatment of choice for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to Anna Wirz-Justice, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Basel in Switzerland. "Light is as effective as antidepressant medications are, perhaps more so," said Wirz-Justice, who cochaired a roundtable session at the SLTBR's annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) in May.