Health news
Health news top Health news

   Login  |  Register    
Health News Make AMN Your Home PageDiscussion BoardsAdvanced Search ToolMedical RSS/XML News FeedHealth news

Study ties sunlight to brain function

Mental health and Psychiatry newsJul 28, 2009

A lack of sunlight can lead to reduced mental performance, not just mood disorders, among depressed people, a U.S. university study said Thursday.

“This new finding that weather may not only affect mood but also cognition has significant implications for the treatment of depression, particularly seasonal affective disorder,” University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher Shia Kent said.

Seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people repeatedly experience depressive symptoms in the winter due to a lack of sunlight.

The university researchers used data from 14,474 people participating in a U.S. National Institutes of Health study to observe associations between depression, mental function and sunlight.

They measured short-term recall and temporal orientation.

Temporal orientation - or the way individuals behave as a reflection of their consideration of the past, the present and the future - is considered a basic dimension of human functioning.

The researchers confirmed that light affects brain blood flow, which is in turn linked to cognitive functions. It also regulates the hormones serotonin and melatonin.

Kent and his colleagues speculate in the journal Environmental Health that the physiological mechanisms that give rise to seasonal depression also contribute to diminished mental functioning among depressed people.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 27 (UPI)

Provided by ArmMed Media

Email this to a friend Bookmark this! Printable Version


We are pleased to let readers post comments about an article. Please increase the credibility of your post by including your full name and email.

All comments are reviewed by our editors before they are posted on the site. Just keep it clean, kids. Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

   [advanced search]   
Interactive Quiz:
I have a decreased need for sleep.
Test you knowledge

Health Centers

  Mental Disorders

  Anxiety Disorders

  Psychotic Disorders

  Mood Disorders

  Personality Disorders

  Substance-Related Disorders

  Childhood Disorders

  Cognitive Disorders

  Miscellaneous Disorders

» » »

  Mental Disorders
      (- for profesionals -)

  Mood Disorders

  Anxiety Disorders,
  Dissociative Disorders,
  and Adjustment Disorders

  Sexual and Gender Identity

  Schizophrenia and Other
  Psychotic Disorders

  Personality Disorders

  Addictive disorders

  Internet addiction


Health Centers


Health news

Health Encyclopedia

Diseases & Conditions

Drugs & Medications

Health Tools

Health Tools

   Health newsletter


   Medical Links

   RSS/XML News Feed



Add to My AOL
Google Reader

Popular Searches:
» depressed what to do?
» helping the depressed person
» depression glossary
» adolescent depression
» major depression
» types of depression
» checklist for depression
» depression overview
» symptoms of depression
» what Is depression?