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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 6, 527 - 537

Review article

Chronotherapy for affective disorders

R. Lieverse, R.F. Riemersma-van der Lek, J.M. Voermans, W.J.G. Hoogendijk

background In the literature there is increasing interest in the chronobiology of affective disorders and in the most important chronotherapies for treating these disorders.
aim
To discuss the background to and the main features of the most important therapies for affective disorders.
method
Using PubMed, we performed a concise review of the literature on the use of chronotherapeutics in affective disorders and we also studied the standard textbooks on the subject.
results
Light therapy is the type of chronotherapy that has been studied most. Chronotherapies show interesting and promising results in open label studies, but so far there have been no randomized double-blind placebo controlled trials.
conclusion
Chronotherapeutics provides a neurobiological model and a series of promising, possibly effective non-pharmacological therapies, particularly for affective disorders. Light therapy deserves to be included in the multidisciplinary treatment guidelines relating to affective disorders. However, more, better and longer trials are needed in order to evaluate the various types of chronotherapies.

keywords chronotherapeutics, dark treatment, depression, light treatment, wake-treatment