BACKGROUND: In the literature there is increasing interest in the chronobiology of affective disorders and in the most important chronotherapies for treating these disorders. AIM: To discuss the background to and the mainfeatures of the most important therapies for affective disorders. METHOD: Using PubMed, we performed a concise review of the literature on the use of chronotherapeutics in affective disorders and we also studied the standard textbooks on the subject. RESULTS: Light therapy is the type of chronotherapy that has been studied most. Chronotherapies show interesting and promising results in open label studies, but so far there have been no randomized double-blind placebo controlled trials. CONCLUSION: Chronotherapeutics provides a neurobiological model and a series of promising, possibly effective non-pharmacological therapies, particularly for affective disorders. Light therapy deserves to be included in the multidisciplinary treatment guidelines relating to affective disorders. However, more, better and longer trials are needed in order to evaluate the various types of chronotherapies.

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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lieverse, R., Riemersma-Van der Lek, R., Voermans, J. M., & Hoogendijk, W. (2012). Chronotherapy for affective disorders. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie (Vol. 54, pp. 527–537). Retrieved from