PMID: 9114947Apr 1, 1997Paper

L-tryptophan augmentation of light therapy in patients with seasonal affective disorder

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie
R W LamA P Zis


Up to one-third of patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) do not have a full response to light therapy. Given the evidence for serotonergic dysregulation in SAD, we examined the possible role of l-tryptophan as an augmentation strategy for nonresponders and partial responders to light therapy. Eligible drug-free patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for SAD were treated for 2 weeks using a standard morning light therapy regimen (10,000 lux cool-white fluorescent light for 30 minutes). Partial and nonresponders were treated for 2 weeks with open-label l-tryptophan (1 g 3 times daily) while light therapy was continued. Ratings at baseline and follow-up included the 29-item Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, SAD version (SIGH-SAD) and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale. Sixteen patients began the l-tryptophan augmentation phase. Two patients discontinued medications within 3 days because of side effects. In the 14 patients completing treatment, the addition of l-tryptophan resulted in significant reduction of mean depression scores. Nine of 14 patients (64%) showed very good clinical responses to combined treatment and minimal side effects. This open-label study suggests that l-tryptop...Continue Reading


Dec 1, 1992·Journal of Affective Disorders·C I EastmanM A Young
Mar 1, 1989·Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie·R W LamJ C Gillin
Mar 1, 1994·Journal of Psychiatric Research·M S BauerJ G Marcus
Dec 1, 1995·The American Journal of Psychiatry·R W LamR T Joffe
Oct 1, 1995·Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie·E M TamA J Levitt

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