Negative air ionization therapy
Negative air ionization therapy is the use of air ionizers as an experimental non-pharmaceutical treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and mild depression. The mainstream scientific community considers this pseudoscience.[dubious ]
For SAD, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing high (4.5x1014 ions/second) and low (1.7x1011 ions/second) flow rate negative air ionization with bright light therapy found that post-treatment improvement results were 57.1% for bright light (10,000 lux) compared with high-density ions, 47.9%; and low-density ions, 22.7%. An older RCT conducted by the same authors also found air ionization effective for SAD at 2.7x106 ions/cm3. A 2007 review considers this therapy "under investigation", and suggests that it may be a helpful treatment for SAD.
An RCT comparing the short-term effects of bright light, an auditory stimulus, and high- and low-density negative ions on mood and alertness in mildly depressed and non-depressed adults found that the three first (active) stimuli, but not the low-density placebo, reduced depression on the Beck Depression Inventory scale; the auditory stimulus, bright light and high-density ions all produced rapid mood changes—with small to medium effect sizes—in depressed and non-depressed subjects.
A separate randomized placebo-controlled study published in May 2010 found that the difference between high-density ion therapy and placebo (dim red light and low-density ions) was not statistically significant. The conclusion of this study was that bright white light therapy was significantly more effective than negative ion therapy for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
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