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Clinical Trial Summary

Mania is a serious condition. Symptoms of mania include decreased sleep, increased energy, changes in mood, thinking, and behavior. Dark therapy, which involves placing patients in a dark room for 14 hours overnight, can effectively treat mania, but is not practical. Dark therapy is also unpleasant. However, similar effects on the brain can be created from blocking only blue light with glasses. This preserves the wearer's ability to see and move safely. A trial of blue-blocking glasses for mania in Norway produced dramatic improvements in manic symptoms within three days of hospitalization. Mania both disrupts the sleep-wake cycle and is triggered by short and interrupted sleep. Examples of triggers include shift work and travel across time zones. Therefore, mania involves the "day-night" clock in the brain. The rhythm of the brain's clock is set by special sensors in the eye that identify daytime from blue light. If light does not include this blue spectrum, this informs the brain it is nighttime. In spite of the obvious potential of blue blocking glasses for mania, there has been no confirmatory study of this simple treatment in the five years since the initial Norwegian trial. Without a second study, this treatment will not find its way into routine clinical care. The investigators will conduct a randomized controlled trial of blue-blocking glasses for mania in hospitalized patients. The investigators will also assess activity, sleep, and saliva melatonin (a hormone secreted in the brain at night) to see how this treatment works. If our trial confirms that blue-blocking glasses are effective, this treatment could help those suffering with mania return to their life more quickly. Medications for mania can also cause serious side-effects and having glasses as a treatment option might also reduce the amount of medicine needed to get well. Blue-blocking glasses could be a low-cost non-medication treatment. The investigators will look at how they could put this treatment into practice as part of everyday care.


Clinical Trial Description

The purpose of this research project is to determine the effectiveness of blue-blocking glasses as adjunctive treatment for mania in bipolar disorder, assess circadian mechanisms, and provide information to improve translation to real-world practice settings. The investigators propose to conduct a confirmatory and more definitive clinical trial of blue-blocking glasses for mania and explore the putative role of circadian factors in mechanisms of action. The primary objective is to specifically determine whether blue-blocking glasses are effective at reducing manic symptoms in inpatients beyond any general reduction in light exposure. This represents an advance on prior study, which compared them to clear lenses. For reasons outlined in the background, the investigators hypothesis that adding blue-blocking glasses to pharmacological treatment as usual for mania will improve symptoms, as measured by the clinician administered rating scales. The secondary objectives relate to understanding how the reduction in manic symptoms with blue blocking glasses corresponds to changes in circadian rhythms. Not all patient with mania will be able to participate in this portion of the protocol (relevant to Aim 2 below) and it will subsequently be performed in a subset of patients, who are both capable and interested in adhering to the protocol, and at sites able to implement. At this time, the investigators anticipate this portion of the protocol being administered at the two campuses of The Ottawa Hospital. The investigators hypothesize that changes in circadian rhythms will be correlated to improvement in manic symptoms and thus a likely mechanisms of action. The investigators also plan to conduct qualitative interviews to inform future implementation of this or related interventions (Aim 3). Aim 1 (Effectiveness): To compare the effectiveness (change in Young Mania Rating Scale) of blue-blocking glasses to lightly tinted glasses as an adjunctive therapy with treatment as usual for psychiatric inpatients with mania. Aim 2 (Support of Mechanism): To assess whether the reduction in manic symptoms with blue blocking glasses relates to the degree of changes in circadian rhythms (based on melatonin release curves, body temperature, heart rate, and the rest-activity cycle derived from actigraphy) and sleep (subjective and based on actigraphy). Aim 3 (Translation to Practice): To improve translation to real-world practice settings, qualitative interviews with staff and patients will be performed using the Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation (RE-AIM) model. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05206747
Study type Interventional
Source Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Contact Jess G Fiedorowicz, MD, PhD
Phone 6137372210
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date September 7, 2022
Completion date April 2024

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