A clinical trial held in Amsterdam shows that major depression symptoms in older adults could be treated by bright light therapy.

The study, conducted by Dr. Ritsaert Lieverse and the VU University Medical Center, monitored 89 adults over the age of sixty that suffered from major depression.

Half of those studied were given bright light therapy for their major depression symptoms. The remaining control group was giving a placebo light. Bright light therapy has been used successfully for a while in seasonal reactive disorder.

The results shows that not only did the bright light therapy users improve, they showed the same improvements they would have had if they were on antidepressants. The group also showed to produce more melatonin and less cortisol, both good things for the body.

After treatment 54 percent of those treated with light therapy continued to improve. Only 33 percent of the control group improved afterwards.

The study could provide an alternative solution for the older folks who cannot or will not give in to taking antidepressants for their major depression symptoms.