How controlling light may improve sleep and reduce the risk for episodes of mania and depression.
This is an exciting time for people with bipolar disorder. In simple language, Dr. Hansler describes recent findings that the gene mutations associated with bipolar disorder involve the genes that make up the internal clock. This internal clock controls functioning of all parts of the mind and body, not only through the 24-hour day, but as the seasons change throughout the year. Light exposure has a powerful effect on our internal clock. By controlling the color of the light and when the eyes are exposed, it may be possible to help stabilize mood and make up for any deficiencies in the internal clock. Episodes of depression or mania may be avoided. Genetic testing offers the hope of getting the right drug on the first try.