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High cortisol awakening response is associated with an impairment of the effect of bright light therapy

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OBJECTIVE: We investigated the predictive validity of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in patients with non-seasonal major depression. METHOD: Patients were treated with sertraline in combination with bright or dim light therapy for a 5-week period. Saliva cortisol levels were measured in 63 patients, as an awakening profile, before medication and light therapy started. The CAR was calculated by using three time-points: awakening and 20 and 60 min after awakening. RESULTS: Patients with low CAR had a very substantial effect of bright light therapy compared with dim light therapy, whereas patients with a high CAR had no effect of bright light therapy compared with dim light therapy. CONCLUSION: High CAR was associated with an impairment of the effect of bright light therapy. This result raises the question of whether bright light acts through a mechanism different from that of antidepressants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume120
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
ISSN0001-690X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009

    Research areas

  • Depressive Disorder, Major, Double-Blind Method, Female, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Male, Middle Aged, Phototherapy, Predictive Value of Tests, Psychometrics, Saliva, Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors, Sertraline, Treatment Failure, Wakefulness

ID: 30976293