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The circadian rhythm of temperature during light treatment for winter depression

  • Charmane I. Eastman
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Dr. Charmane Eastman, Biological Rhythms Research Laboratory, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, 1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60612.
    Footnotes
    Affiliations
    Biological Rhythms Research Laboratory and Psychology Department Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, USA
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  • Linda C. Gallo
    Footnotes
    Affiliations
    Biological Rhythms Research Laboratory and Psychology Department Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, USA
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  • Henry W. Lahmeyer
    Footnotes
    Affiliations
    Psychiatry Department, University of Illinois Medical Center, USA
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  • Louis F. Fogg
    Footnotes
    Affiliations
    Biological Rhythms Research Laboratory and Psychology Department Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    ∗∗ We thank Lucie G. Watell for diagnoses and SIGH-SAD ratings, Jamie K. Lile, Ph.D., Michael Easton, M.D., Paul Sakkas, M.D., Cynthia Westegard, M.A., and Maureen Smith for SIGH-SAD ratings, and Michael A. Young, Ph.D., for consultation on diagnostic and rating issues. Technical assistance was provided by Glenn Good, Joy Dunbar, Barbie McCluskey, Charles Splete, Alexis Walker, and Cheryl Anagnopoulos. We thank Larry D. Chait, Ph.D., for making Figures 2 and 3, and Karen T. Stewart, Ph.D. for a critical reading of this manuscript.
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      Abstract

      Circadian rhythm abnormalities have been implicated in winter seasonal affective disorder. We examined the circadian temperature rhythm of 22 patients with winter depression and 10 normal controls who had participated in various high-intensity light treatment experiments. We did not find abnormalities in the baseline phase or amplitude of the temperature rhythm in patients compared to controls. Nor did we find abnormalities in the phase-shifting response to morning light. There was some evidence that the “phase-delayed” half of the patients responded poorly to phase advances produced by morning light, whereas the “phase-advanced” half of the patients responded poorly when their rhythms delayed. However, the antidepressant responses during the best week (week of lowest depression score) were unrelated to temperature rhythm phase shifts. In general, there was not strong support for a relationship between circadian rhythms changes and antidepressant response.

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