Blue-blocking glasses as additive treatment for mania: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Authors

  • Tone EG Henriksen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section for Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Division of Mental Health Care, Valen Hospital, Fonna Local Health Authority, Valen, Norway
    3. Moodnet Research Group, Division of Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
    • Corresponding author:

      Tone E. G. Henriksen Valen Sjukehus Sjukehusvegen 26 Valen 5451 Norway

      Fax: +4753466401

      E-mail: tgjo@helse-fonna.no

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  • Silje Skrede,

    1. Dr. Einar Martens Research Group for Biological Psychiatry, Center for Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
    2. The Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorder Research (Norment), The KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Ole B Fasmer,

    1. Section for Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Moodnet Research Group, Division of Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
    3. The KG Jebsen Centre for Research on Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Helle Schoeyen,

    1. Section for Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Moodnet Research Group, Division of Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
    3. Division of Psychiatry, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
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  • Ieva Leskauskaite,

    1. Division of Mental Health Care, Haugesund Hospital, Fonna Local Health Authority, Valen, Norway
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  • Jeanette Bjørke-Bertheussen,

    1. Division of Psychiatry, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
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  • Jörg Assmus,

    1. Centre for Clinical Research, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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  • Børge Hamre,

    1. Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Janne Grønli,

    1. Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Sleep and Performance Research Center, Washington State University, Washington, USA
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  • Anders Lund

    1. Section for Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Moodnet Research Group, Division of Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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Abstract

Objectives

The discovery of the blue lightsensitive retinal photoreceptor responsible for signaling daytime to the brain suggested that light to the circadian system could be inhibited by using blue-blocking orange tinted glasses. Blue-blocking (BB) glasses are a potential treatment option for bipolar mania. We examined the effectiveness of BB glasses in hospitalized patients with bipolar disorder in a manic state.

Methods

In a single-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (RCT), eligible patients (with bipolar mania; age 18–70 years) were recruited from five clinics in Norway. Patients were assigned to BB glasses or placebo (clear glasses) from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. for 7 days, in addition to treatment as usual. Symptoms were assessed daily by use of the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). Motor activity was assessed by actigraphy, and compared to data from a healthy control group. Wearing glasses for one evening/night qualified for inclusion in the intention-to-treat analysis.

Results

From February 2012 to February 2015, 32 patients were enrolled. Eight patients dropped out and one was excluded, resulting in 12 patients in the BB group and 11 patients in the placebo group. The mean decline in YMRS score was 14.1 [95% confidence interval (CI): 9.7–18.5] in the BB group, and 1.7 (95% CI: −4.0 to 7.4) in the placebo group, yielding an effect size of 1.86 (Cohen's d). In the BB group, one patient reported headache and two patients experienced easily reversible depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

This RCT shows that BB glasses are effective and feasible as add-on treatment for bipolar mania.

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