SATURDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For some people a change in the seasons can trigger a loss of energy or even clinical depression, according to an expert who describes how to cope with seasonal affective disorder.
The condition is caused by changes in ambient light, said Dr. Dan Iosifescu, director of the Mount Sinai Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program in New York City.
"A gland in our brain provides a time signal, based on the amount of ambient light, to various parts of the body. Like a metronome, the gland responds to signals from light and uses those cues to orchestrate the day/night cycle," he said in a Mt. Sinai news release. "Ambient light helps our brain determine when our bodies need to be active mentally and physically and when our bodies need to rest. That cycle is thrown off when the days get shorter and darker."
Iosifescu offered the following tips to help people overcome the winter blues:
The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more information on seasonal affective disorder.
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SOURCE: Mount Sinai Medical Center, news release, Jan. 23, 2012
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