|II.||Readings for Clinicians and Interested Others|
The Center for Environmental Therapeutics.
The premier site for a broad range of information on chronobiology and chronotherapy, authored by the world's authorities in the field. A treasure-trove of material about diagnostic information, rating scales, treatment descriptions, and research. It is also the source for reputable recommendations about the type and place to purchase optimal light boxes and other chronotherapeutic accessories. Practical, concise, and understandable advice from the experts.
Given that my primary interest is in bipolar disorders, I include this as my second favorite. This Corvallis, OR psychiatrist, Jim Phelps, M.D., has done us all a service by aggregating, synthesizing, and explaining a vast range of knowledge about bipolar disorders in one, highly readable site.
The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association of the U.K.
The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association of the U.K. Simple, basic info about diagnosis and treatment of S.A.D., prepared by a group of knowledgeable patients.
The Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms.
Though this site has some useful diagnostic and treatment information, it has not been well tended. Much of the material is dated and too many of the links are out of date.
www.stereopsis.com F.lux free software download.
A free software download that adjusts the color temperature and degree of melatonin-suppressing blue light emitted by your computer monitor. Pegged to your local time, this program adjusts monitor illumination to correspond to the local light-darkness cycle. Though never tested, it may reduce agitation and insomnia in heavy nighttime computer users.
The Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire.
This 19 item questionnaire identifies each person's own internal timing, also known as their chronotype. This information is essential for the correct timing of bright light therapy. As part of our collaboration with C.E.T., we offer a link to an automatic, online version of the MEQ here
Dr. Ivan Goldberg's Depression Central site has been a stalwart provider of impartial and comprehensive information related to the diagnosis and treatment of depression for many years. I was pleased to find that he has a comprehensive bibliography of articles related to the antidepressant effect of sleep deprivation, extending from the earliest publications in the late 1970's through 2002. Mysteriously and unfortunately, this compendium ends at this date and, in so doing, deprives readers of ongoing research in this area. Nonetheless, for those who want to survey the first thirty years of research in this fascinating area, Dr. Goldberg provides a list of all publications and their abstracts.
Below are a selective list of articles and books on chronobiology and chronotherapy. Included here are important publications in this area, review articles, and other works. Some are my favorites, others receive less of my enthusiasm. If you know of a relevant, published work that you feel should be included here, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chronotherapeutics for Affective Disorders. A Clinician's Manual for Light and Wake Therapy.
Wirz-Justice A, Benedetti F, and Terman M. Karger, 2009.
Please read my extensive review on our CPA Resources, Bipolar Disorder Book Review section.
My short recap: This is simply the book for any clinician or serious student interesting in learning about the practice of clinical chronotherapy.
A Clinician's Guide to Using Light Therapy.
Lam RW and Tam EM. Cambridge University Press, 2009
This is a short book that presents the ABC's of light therapy in a simple, unimpeachably clear and, unfortunately, plain vanilla fashion. Written for clinicians and the lay public by recognized experts in the field, these authors subscribe to the belief that the standard format for primers of this kind must be elementary, predictable and lifeless. To that end, the DSM criteria for SAD are faithfully reviewed, followed by a basic description of the practical aspects of light treatment. Clinical snippets are included to enliven the exposition – to little avail. The latter chapters become marginally more interesting as they discuss the comparative and complementary usage of light therapy and antidepressant medication, theories about the mechanism of action of light therapy, and the use of light for conditions beyond SAD. The references are skimpy and full of gaps (no mention of Golden et al's 2006 meta-analysis on light therapy for mood disorders or Terman's papers on dawn simulation). What makes this all even worse is that this is one of the very few books devoted to light therapy.
All cars get you where you're going. Some do so in more elegant, exciting fashion, others provide basic transportation and nothing more. Lam and Tam's guide provides rudimentary instruction that moves the reader forward in a bland but reliable ride.
The Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 5th Edition.
Kryger MH, Roth T, and Dement WC. Saunders, 2010
Due out very soon, if the 5th edition resembles the previous publications, this will be a book of dense but well-written, comprehensive, and authoritative summaries of all areas relevant to sleep, sleep disorders, and their treatment. What makes these efforts receive listing here is the outstanding presentation of information about circadian rhythms, circadian neurobiology, CLOCK genetics, the clinical presentation of circadian rhythm problems and a clear and concise discussion of evaluation and treatment. These are meaty, thick chapters - including one on light therapy - that require real work to get through but which more than repays the reader for their effort. For a psychiatrist or other interested clinician, there is no better introduction to this field than through the editions of this classic textbook.