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Below is an excerpt on how fluorescent light can effect those with Lupus. All hospital facility managers should be aware of this.

Fluorescent light activates the immunomodulator cis-urocanic acid in vitro: implications for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

McGrath H Jr, Bell JM, Haycock JW. Department of Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans 70112.

OBJECTIVE--Erythemagenic (295-305 nm) ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation is toxic to patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Cool white fluorescent lamp emissions produce a similar toxicity even though the UVB radiation emitted is primarily at the relatively non-erythemagenic wavelength of 313 nm. The purpose of this study was to determine if fluorescent light, presumably acting predominantly along the 313 nm wavelength, exhibits photochemical activity sufficient to account for toxicity. METHODS--The photochemical activity of fluorescent light was assessed by testing its capacity to activate urocanic acid, a plentiful and potent epidermal immunological mediator normally activated by polychromatic UVB radiation but activated maximally at 313 nm. Irradiation-induced isomerisation of trans-urocanic to cis-urocanic acid was quantitated by UV spectroscopy after separation of the isomers by high performance liquid chromatography.

RESULTS--Fluorescent light irradiation of solutions containing the photoreceptor trans-urocanic acid produced a cumulative conversion of trans-to-cis-urocanic acid. This photochemical activity was compared with that of erythemagenic sunlamps, high in polychromatic UVB emissions. When normalised for UVB irradiance, the accumulation of cis-urocanic acid produced by both light sources was essentially equivalent. Conventional acrylic diffusers that absorb UVB emissions eliminated the fluorescent light-induced reaction. CONCLUSION--The results indicate that radiation from fluorescent lamps possesses substantial photoimmunological capability, sufficient to activate a potent, potentially dangerous, disease-modifying, immunomodulatory pathway and that poorly erythemagenic, primarily monochromatic UVB photons are responsible.

PMID: 8037497 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

An Open Trial of Morning Light Therapy For Treatment of Antepartum Depression

Dan A. Oren, M.D., Katherine L. Wisner, M.D., Margaret Spinelli, M.D., C. Neill Epperson, M.D., Kathleen S. Peindl, Ph.D., Jiuan Su Terman, Ph.D., and Michael Terman, Ph.D.  Am J Psychiatry 159:666-669, April 2002.

OBJECTIVE: About 5% of pregnant women meet criteria for major depression. No pharmacotherapy is specifically approved for antepartum depression; novel treatment approaches may be welcome. The authors explored the use of morning bright light therapy for antepartum depression.  

METHOD: An open trial of bright light therapy in an A-B-A design was conducted for 3-5 weeks in 16 pregnant patients with major depression. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Seasonal Affective Disorders Version, was administered to assess changes in mood. A follow-up questionnaire was used to assess outcome after delivery.

RESULTS: After 3 weeks of treatment, mean depression ratings improved by 49%. Benefits were seen through 5 weeks of treatment. There was no evidence of adverse effects of light therapy on pregnancy.

CONCLUSIONS: These data provide evidence that morning light therapy has an antidepressant effect during pregnancy. A randomized controlled trial is warranted to test this alternative to medication.

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