Effects of bright light on resting metabolic rate in patients with seasonal affective disorder and control subjects

Paul A. Gaist, Eva Obarzanek, Robert G. Skwerer, Connie C. Duncan, Patricia M. Shultz, Norman E. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) could be construed as having an energy-conserving function. We predicted that SAD patients would have abnormally low resting metabolic rates (RMR), which would be increased to normal levels by light therapy. To test this hypothesis we measured RMR in 10 patients on and off light treatment and 9 normal controls. Contrary to our prediction we found that SAD patients had significantly higher RMR values compared with the normal population (p < 0.02) and these values were significantly lowered by light treatment (p < 0.05). The possible implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-996
Number of pages8
JournalBiological psychiatry
Volume28
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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