this is really weird.
Earbuds Beat Depression by Shining Lights Into Your Brain
- By Charlie Sorrel
- January 12, 2011
- 6:33 am
The concept for the Valkee sounds like the worst kind of snake-oil: It’s a little box that combats the dark blues of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with bright lights. Nothing new there, except it shines the lights into your head through your ears
Winter depression, in the form of SAD, has been treated with bright lights since forever. Researchers at the University of Oulu, Finland, say t’s not the eyes that need the light, it’s the brain. The ear canal is a convenient hole in the head through which to shine light, so the Valkee uses a pair of earbuds to light up the inside of your head, and stimulate photo-sensitive parts of the gray matter.
That’s the theory at least. Tests run at the University of Oulu confirm its efficacy, offering relief to nine out of 10 subjects with a daily 8- to 12-minute dose for four weeks. And not everyone is as skeptical as me. Valkee has received angel investment from such smart people as Esther Dyson and ex-Nokia boss Anssi Vanjoki.
Proper clinical trials are running now, which further inspires confidence. And for those in northern climes, where the winter months can bring nights that last weeks not hours, this 185-euro light box could prove to be a life saver. Available now.
(article from wired.com's website)