By Dr. Michael Terman and Dr. Jiuan Su Terman
Reprinted from Allure Magazine, June 1995
Call them air purifiers, but antidepressants might be a better name for those electronic gizmos that pump negative ions (invisible electric charges) into the air and are touted as good for everything from allergies to weather-related mood changes.
Michale and Jiuan Su Terman, research psychologists at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University, have set out to test the effects of industrial strength [high density] ionizers on “Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
In the first of several planned trials, 25 people with winter depression sat in front of the machine for a half hour upon awakening for 29 days. About half the subjects received a low level of the negatively charged air, and the other “millions of ions” more than standard purifiers generate; explains Michael Terman. “The higher dose was as effective as light therapy or antidepressants for the disorder and did not cause side effects.”