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January 1990

Corrections and Additions to the History of Light Therapy and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Author Affiliations

Inter-Tech 63 Hillside Ave Florham Park, NJ 07932
Departments of Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, and Pharmacology Oregon Health Sciences University 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd Portland, OR 97201

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(1):90-91. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810130092014

To the Editor.—  Although it may not have been their intent, the response by Drs Wehr and Rosenthal1 to Dr Mueller's letter2 will be read by many as a detailed historical review of seasonal affective disorder and light therapy. Unfortunately, their review suffers from several errors and omissions. The following is a more accurate account of our respective roles in the events leading to the first light therapy study at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bethesda, Md.Herbert E. Kern is a research scientist who, by 1967, had been aware of a seasonal mood disorder and had begun keeping detailed records of his mood swings. By 1972, he noted that the timing of his seasonal mood changes seemed related to seasonal changes in sunlight intensity and/or day length. In search of information on how light might affect or induce biochemical changes in the brain, Mr Kern

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