Night eating syndrome and winter seasonal affective disorder

Clinique des Maladies Mentales et de l'Encéphale (CMME), Centre Hospitalier Sainte-Anne, Université Paris V, René Descartes, France.
Appetite (Impact Factor: 2.69). 08/2006; 47(1):119-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2006.03.159
Source: PubMed


Night eating syndrome (NES) and winter seasonal affective disorder (SAD) share some features such as snacking for high-carbohydrate/high-fat food with increased weight, emotional distress, circadian disturbances, good response to serotoninergic antidepressants (SSRIs) and bright-light therapy. This study assessed the prevalence and socio-demographical and clinical correlates of the NES in a sample of 62 consecutive depressed outpatients with winter seasonal features (DSM-IV criteria). Depression was assessed with the 29 item-HDRS and Sigh-SAD version and with the 7-item depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale. The prevalence of NES was low (4.8%). Patients suffering from NES were significantly older with a greater duration of the illness. NES was not related to depression and to Body Mass Index. NES and winter SAD are not overlapping disorders.

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    ABSTRACT: The article reviews the international literature about psychopathological aspects and treatments of Night Eating Syndrome (NES). Studies were found using Medline; data from recent international books and conferences about ED are included, but single case descriptions are not included in the study. NES seems to be consistently related to mood disorders and anxiety. There is a low overlap between other eating disorders, including binge eating disorder (BED), and NES. The relationship between the syndrome and substance abuse is unclear and needs further study. Sleep architecture seems not to be severely altered among those with NES. A limited number of treatment studies for NES have been published or presented. Most of the literature focuses on pharmacological treatment, with fewer psychotherapeutic approaches reported at this time. Larger, multi-site treatment studies would serve to confirm the findings of this first wave of clinical trials.
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