Atypical pattern of rod electroretinogram modulation by recent light history: a possible biomarker of seasonal affective disorder.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Psychiatry Res, Volume 187, Issue 3, p.370-4 (2011)


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Biophysics, Electroretinography, Female, Humans, Light, Male, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Seasons, Sensitivity and Specificity, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult


<p>Our goal was to challenge both normal controls and patients with seasonal affective disorders (SAD) to various light histories and then measure their retinal response modulation using the electroretinogram (ERG) in both winter and summer. In winter and summer, 11 normal controls and 12 SAD patients were exposed to three different light conditions for 1 h (10,000, 100 and 5 lux) followed by an ERG. Groups showed similar ERG amplitudes in the 100 lux condition. Compared with the 100-lux condition, in controls, the ERG response was significantly increased in the 5-lux condition; in SAD, it was significantly decreased in the 10,000-lux condition. This pattern was present in both seasons. This is the first time a retinal response modulation anomaly has been observed in SAD patients in both the depressed and euthymic states. Retinal response modulation may represent an interesting biomarker of the disease for future research.</p>

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