Transcranial low level laser (light) therapy for traumatic brain injury

Authors

  • Ying-Ying Huang,

    1. Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, BAR414, 40 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    3. Aesthetic and Plastic Center of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China
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  • Asheesh Gupta,

    1. Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, BAR414, 40 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    3. Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Timarpur, Delhi-110 054, India
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  • Daniela Vecchio,

    1. Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, BAR414, 40 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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  • Vida J. Bil de Arce,

    1. Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, BAR414, 40 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
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  • Shih-Fong Huang,

    1. Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, BAR414, 40 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    3. Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 112
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  • Weijun Xuan,

    1. Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, BAR414, 40 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    3. Department of Otolaryngology, Traditional Chinese Medical University of Guangxi, Nanning, China
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  • Michael R. Hamblin

    Corresponding author
    1. Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, BAR414, 40 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    3. Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    • Phone: 617-726-6182, Fax: 617-726-8566
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Abstract

We review the use of transcranial low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) as a possible treatment for traumatic-brain injury (TBI). The basic mechanisms of LLLT at the cellular and molecular level and its effects on the brain are outlined. Many interacting processes may contribute to the beneficial effects in TBI including neuroprotection, reduction of inflammation and stimulation of neurogenesis. Animal studies and clinical trials of transcranial-LLLT for ischemic stroke are summarized. Several laboratories have shown that LLLT is effective in increasing neurological performance and memory and learning in mouse models of TBI. There have been case report papers that show beneficial effects of transcranial-LLLT in a total of three patients with chronic TBI. Our laboratory has conducted three studies on LLLT and TBI in mice. One looked at pulsed-vs-continuous wave laser-irradiation and found 10 Hz to be superior. The second looked at four different laser-wavelengths (660, 730, 810, and 980 nm); only 660 and 810 nm were effective. The last looked at different treatment repetition regimens (1, 3 and 14-daily laser-treatments). (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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