The moon and madness reconsidered

Author: C.Raison, H. Klein & M. Steckler
Abstract: Reviewing literature published in the past 50 years, the authors find no support for the traditional idea that moon phases are associated with psychiatric dusturbance. The authors propose that modern findings can be reconciled with traditional beliefs through the mechanism of sleep deprivation which was caused by brilliant noctural light during the full moon. Today’s populations are largely shielded from this lunar effect by modern housing and lighting conditions. But the partial sleep deprivation caused by the brilliance of the moon would, according to modern neuropsychiatric studies, have been sufficient to precipitate mania in people with this underlying disposition, and seizures in individuals with the vulnerability fo seizure disorder. The authors proposed experimental possibilities for the validation of their sleep deprivation hypothesis.
Keywords: Moon, Psychiatric Disorder, Mania, Sleep Deprivation
Publication: Journal of Affective Disorders
Issue: 53 (1)
Dated: 1999
Pages: 99-106

Posted in Free Research Abstract