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Red Light Therapy To Treat Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Updated: Dec 24, 2021




By increasing cellular energy (stimulating mitochondrial ATP production) and increasing cerebral blood flow, NIR light enhances abnormal cell activity in damaged brain tissue after minor head injuries. The good news is that red light therapy has been shown to stimulate the growth of new nerve tissue in damaged brain cells and improve the cognitive abilities of patients with TBU and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. For those who are unfamiliar with it, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative encephalopathy commonly seen in athletes and veterans, as well as anyone with a history of recurrent brain injury.

[Sources: 3, 12]

Clinically, this can be defined as coma, lasting 6 hours or more after head injury, except in cases of edema or ischemic brain injury [44, 45]. Focal brain injury can cause massive consequences of hemorrhagic injury or hematoma, which can cause hernia and compression of the brain stem, which can lead to coma, which usually does not occur immediately, but develops again. Conversely, DAI may be the only source of post-traumatic coma in the absence of massive injuries [45]. [Sources: 6]

However, there are still no cures for this condition, mainly because the underlying biological mechanisms are not well understood and it is very difficult to conduct research with real patients in the acute phase of trauma. However, there is currently no cure for the condition, largely due to a lack of full understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms and the difficulties of conducting research in real-life patients with acute trauma. The study was designed to assess the safety and feasibility of using light therapy after moderate head injury and the neuroreactivity of the damaged brain to light therapy based on quantitative indicators of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and assessment of neurocognitive function. [Sources: 4, 7, 14]

This was an observational cohort study that used a case series design that examined the possibility that pulsed transcranial red light and near infrared radiation could affect neuropsychological function and cerebral blood flow in veterans with chronic TBI. This open protocol pilot study investigated whether applying red and near infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to the scalp could improve cognitive function in patients with chronic and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The use of red / near infrared light improves mitochondrial function (especially in hypoxic / damaged cells), helping to increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is important for cellular metabolism. [Sources: 2, 8]

Red light therapy reduces the number of inflammatory cells, increases the proliferation of fibroblasts (cells that synthesize collagen and other matrix macromolecules), stimulates angiogenesis (the production of new blood vessels), and activates the body's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses. Red light therapy mainly stimulates cell mitochondrial activity to increase ATP production, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and increase other cell activities that enhance brain function. The light absorbed by mitochondria improves the function of cells, allowing them to regenerate and better protect. [Sources: 11, 12]

In addition, red light therapy is a natural, safe, and non-therapeutic treatment that has shown great promise in the treatment of brain diseases ranging from head injuries to depression. Therefore, red light therapy is becoming more and more popular as a potential therapeutic agent to slow down or even reverse age-related cognitive decline and age-related brain damage. For example, a recent review showed that bright light therapy is effective for seasonal and non-seasonal depression and dementia depression [42]. [Sources: 0, 3]



Following promising pilot results, researchers at VA Boston Healthcare System are testing the effects of light therapy on brain function in Gulf War veterans. According to preliminary results, published by the group in mid-September, researchers at Harvard-based Massachusetts General Hospital found that low-level near-infrared light therapy - or LLLT - could help treat traumatic brain injury. This study is one of the first prospective, randomized, interventional clinical trials of low-level near-infrared light (LILT) therapy in patients with recent moderate brain injury. [Sources: 4, 13, 14]

One of the first randomized controlled trials of its kind concluded that low-radiation light therapy is safe for the treatment of moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). A study of 68 patients with moderate TBI showed that phototherapy statistically significantly changed the multiple diffusion tensor parameters in the subacute late stage. In addition, the findings provide the first direct evidence that researchers believe that low-level transcranial light therapy is targeted and includes neural substrates that may play a role in the pathophysiological effects of moderate TBI. [Sources: 1]

These results confirm previous studies using tPBMT with LEDs to treat chronic TBI. 7,8,13 This is the first study of its kind to use continuous pulsed LED technology and quantitative SPECT data to measure the use of red/As suggested by other studies, NIR LEDs are injected into FDA-approved inexpensive devices. 13 With the development of innovative therapies for neuropsychiatric dysfunction, it is necessary to use quantitative brain biomarkers to strengthen the evaluation of scientific and medical efficacy. The use of tPBMT and pulsed LEDs seems to improve cognitive function and reduce rCBF deficiency associated with chronic head injuries. [Sources: 8]

Studies are also needed to assess the long-term efficacy of tPBMT that distinguish between acceleration / deceleration of bTBI and TBI to light therapy, and longitudinal measurements 6 and 12 months after treatment without interval intervention. The study, funded by the Army's Advanced Medical Technology Initiative, will also test the feasibility and effectiveness of using only LED nose devices, rather than helmets, as a self-help home treatment. [Sources: 8, 13]

Nezer hopes this work will confirm that LED therapy is a viable treatment for veterans and others with brain problems. He believes light therapy can be a valuable addition to standard cognitive rehabilitation, which usually involves “training” the brain in various ways to harness the plasticity of the brain and create new neural networks. Given its wide range of benefits, you might be wondering if light therapy can help improve brain function, such as improving memory, learning and handling complex problems quickly and quickly, treating psychological problems, or potentially supporting recovery from a stroke or injury. (TBI). [Sources: 3, 13]

Light-modified diode (LED) therapy is a non-invasive therapy that can be used in the office or at home (if instructed). LED is a painless non-thermal neuromodulation therapy that can directly target the cellular functions of damaged brain cells. [Sources: 9]



The effectiveness of low-level laser therapy in the treatment of male infertility. Evaluation of the effect of low-level laser therapy on thyroid vascularization in patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism using color Doppler ultrasound. [Sources: 11]

Near-infrared transcranial photobiomodulation is used for cognitive enhancement of two retired professional football players who may develop CTE. Wunsch A and Matuschka K. A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red light and near-infrared light therapy on patient satisfaction, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness, and increasing intradermal collagen density. A new treatment for cellulite using infrared LED lighting during exercise on a high-intensity treadmill. [Sources: 9, 11]

Low-level transcranial light therapy was performed using a special helmet equipped with 18 groups of 20 near-infrared LEDs; therapy was started within 72 hours of injury. Sixty-eight patients with moderate TBI were randomized to receive mild or low-severity sham therapy. [Sources: 1]

Neuropsychological tests were performed before the LED and after 1 week, as well as 1 and 2 months after the 18th treatment session. Neurocognitive studies using the Rivermead questionnaire after concussion were performed concurrently with MRI and 6 months after injury. Data collection process and data extraction Two experts (KS and PS) independently extracted test data using a data logging form. [Sources: 0, 1, 2]

https://www.ataraxislifestylewellness.org/books?pgid=kvawwtn8-0fd2acfb-c486-4fa5-b14e-d511040410a6



##### Sources #####

[0]: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246172

[1]: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/937842

[2]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4043367/

[3]: https://platinumtherapylights.com/blogs/news/brain-light-therapy

[4]: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/9/30/light-therapy-brain-injuries/

[5]: https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/topics/general-psychiatry/infrared-laser-treatment-of-tbi-ptsd-and-depression-an-expert-perspective/

[6]: https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-018-2632-5

[7]: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2770551

[8]: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/pho.2018.4489

[9]: https://www.bumc.bu.edu/neurorehabilitationlab/549-2/

[10]: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02383472

[11]: https://www.kaiyanmedical.com/post/light-therapy-can-benefit-patients-with-tbi-traumatic-brain-injury

[12]: https://redlightrising.co.uk/2021/08/31/red-light-therapy-for-brain-health/

[13]: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150402161648.htm

[14]: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/09/mgh-led-study-shows-light-therapy-is-safe/

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