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TV watching and web browsing late at night linked to depression

Researchers at Ohio State University found that chronic exposure to dim light in sleeping hours can lead to symptoms of depression.

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A new study found that chronic dim light at night can lead to depression. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Depression is linked with nighttime exposure to artificial light, like that from computers and televisions, says a new study.

Researchers at Ohio State University found that chronic exposure to dim light in sleeping hours can lead to symptoms of depression.

According to Reuters, the study found that hamsters exposed to low light at night, reminiscent of a computer or TV, showed symtoms of depression.

"The results we found in hamsters are consistent with what we know about depression in humans," said study author Tracy Bedrosian, a neuroscientist at Ohio State University, reported UKPA.

The good news is that after two weeks of exposure to normal light at night, their symptoms disappeared.

The researchers were able to trace the protein involved in depression due to light exposure.

When they blocked the protein in the animals, said Reuters, the animals' depression lifted.

ANI reported that the research adds evidence to previous theories linking light from televisions or computers at night to depression and even obesity.

Our constant exposure to this light may even be one of the causes for the uptick in depression over the last 50 years.

"These findings add to the growing evidence that suggest chronic exposure to artificial light at night may play some role in the rising rates of depression in humans during the past 50 years," said Bedrosian.

The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120724/tv-watching-and-web-browsing-late-at-night-linked-depression