Does light therapy increase serotonin? You might be wondering if it works and why it’s become such a popular treatment for depression. Light therapy is a form of light therapy that helps regulate your melatonin and serotonin levels, which can help offset the depressive symptoms associated with SAD. In short, light therapy works by making up for the lack of light in the winter. The light therapy sessions can be very effective if you live in a dark climate. Researchers conducted a double-blind randomized clinical trial in 2006 that found that light therapy helped depression symptoms in 67% of patients. For this study, light therapy was used in conjunction with the antidepressant drug fluoxetine.
In this study, researchers assessed 5-HTT binding potential in six regions of the brain. The open triangles in Figure 1 represent the 5-HTT BPND of individual subjects. The closed triangles represent the group mean. The five-HTT BPND was significantly decreased in the anterior cingulate cortex, the ventral striatum, the hippocampus, and the medial prefrontal cortex. No changes were observed in the fall group. These results suggest a novel mechanism for light therapy’s antidepressant effect.
Researchers also used a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design to assess whether light therapy increased serotonin levels. The volunteers were randomly assigned to receive five sessions of daily light therapy or a placebo treatment for a period of four weeks. The light therapy sessions lasted 30 minutes and took place between 7:00 am and 7:30 am on five consecutive mornings. The volunteers were randomly assigned to either experimental condition.