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Adults Needed for WPIC Study Investigating Treatment of Bipolar Depression with Light Therapy

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 10, 2010 – Researchers at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC are seeking adults ages 18 to 65 with bipolar disorder who currently have symptoms of bipolar depression.

The goal of the study is to examine a non-drug treatment called light therapy as a way to improve depressed mood in people suffering from bipolar depression. Participation in the study lasts up to 24 weeks. The clinical visits, study medication and medical evaluations are included at no cost for eligible participants. Participants must be experiencing a current major depressive episode and must be taking a mood stabilizer medication for four weeks or more.

Symptoms of bipolar depression usually last for two weeks or more and can include:

  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in things you once enjoyed
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, overeating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches or chronic pain
  • Mood swings

At other times, people with bipolar disorder may have long periods of feeling “high,” or an overly happy or outgoing mood; increased activities and plans; tendencies for racing thoughts, talking very fast and jumping from one idea to another; or extremely irritable mood and agitation.

Up to $200 in compensation will be provided to each participant if all scheduled visits are completed. Compensation for transportation, including bus tickets or parking cost, also will be provided. The study is underwritten by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.

For more information, call toll-free 1-800-436-2461 or visit www.womensbehavioralhealth.org.

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