The Brain – Injury, Depression, Addiction & Disease

Low-Level Laser Therapy Applied Transcranially to Mice following Traumatic Brain Injury Significantly Reduces Long-term Neurological Deficits

Amir Oron, Uri Oron, Jackson Streeter, Luis De Taboada, Alexander Alexandrovich, Victoria Trembovler, Esther Shohami.
Journal of Neurotrauma. April 1, 2007, 24(4): 651-656. doi:10.1089/neu.2006.0198

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been evaluated in this study as a potential therapy for traumatic brain injury (TBI). LLLT has been found to modulate various biological processes. Following TBI in mice, we assessed the hypothesis that LLLT might have a beneficial effect on their neurobehavioral and histological outcome. TBI was induced by a weight-drop device, and motor function was assessed 1 h post-trauma using a neurological severity score (NSS). Mice were then divided into three groups of eight mice each: one control group that received a sham LLLT procedure and was not irradiated; and two groups that received LLLT at two different doses (10 and 20 mW/cm2 ) transcranially. An 808-nm Ga-As diode laser was employed transcranially 4 h post-trauma to illuminate the entire cortex of the brain. Motor function was assessed up to 4 weeks, and lesion volume was measured. There were no significant changes in NSS at 24 and 48 h between the laser-treated and non-treated mice. Yet, from 5 days and up to 28 days, the NSS of the laser-treated mice were significantly lower (p < 0.05) than the traumatized control mice that were not treated with the laser. The lesion volume of the laser treated mice was significantly lower (1.4%) than the non-treated group (12.1%). Our data suggest that a non-invasive transcranial application of LLLT given 4 h following TBI provides a significant long-term functional neurological benefit. Further confirmatory trials are warranted.

Can Laser Cure Depression?

Behavioral and Brain Functions, 5:46, 8 December 2009

A recent study by respected Harvard researchers has produced some startling findings regarding the treatment of depression and substance abuse. Many previous studies have reported beneficial effects from the application of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on neurological function and have reported beneficial effects applying it to the brain in stroke patients. The researchers gave 10 patients, with major depression, including 9 with anxiety, 7 with a past history of substance abuse, and 3 with post traumatic stress disorder, numerous standard psychological tests.

They were then given four 4-minute treatments, placing the 810 nm cluster probe, the same wavelength as used on the LZR7, on both sides of the forehead. Lab tests, brain spectroscopy and psychological tests were given after treatment.

70% of the patients experienced highly significant reductions in their symptoms following treatment, with the greatest reductions occurring at 2 weeks. There were no observed side effects. These eminent researchers have proposed that LLLT may be an effective treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders. These findings are applicable to low level lasers like the LZR7. They do not apply to “hot” lasers, which have many more risks, especially close to the eyes.

Efficiency of laser therapy applied in labial traumatism of patients with spastic cerebral palsy

Moreira LA, Santos MT, Campos VF, Genovese WJ.
Laser Disciplines in Dentistry, Implantodontics and Integrated Dentistry Clinic, University of Cruzeiro do Sul (UNICSUL), Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to report the effectiveness of laser therapy applied to traumatic labial injury of patients with spastic cerebral palsy. We report two cases of patients with internal mucosa and lower lip traumatism caused by oral reflex automatism with spastic tonic bite and lower lip interposition. One patient presented extensive lower lip ulceration, loss of tissue, crusty and hemorrhagic areas, with increasing pain and spasticity. The other patient presented local congestion signs, extremely enlarged tissue growth and increased labial volume. Laser therapy was applied to all injured areas, with a low-potency diode InGaAlP laser [685 nm Quasar (Dentoflex), 190 J/ cm2, with a 24-h interval between the first and second administration, and a 7-day interval between the two subsequent ones. At first re-evaluation, 24 h later, there was a striking reduction in inflammation, a decrease in vascular congestion, and a reduction of the ulcerated area with spasticity and pain reduction. At the 14-day re-evaluation, significant clinical differences in the advanced healing process were seen. Low-intensity laser showed to be effective in traumatic soft tissue treatment in cerebral palsy patients by accelerating the healing process, reducing secondary contamination, promoting analgesia; thus, it can be an important tool in the treatment of these patients.

Laser Brain Treatment

Vopr Kurotol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult 2009 Nov-Dec;(6):3-11

There is a lot of interest about using low level lasers for the treatment of various types of brain dysfunction and damage. In this Russian study, a combination of low level laser and electrical stimulation was applied to the treatment of 576 patients with neurosurgical problems including the loss of brain function, nervous system lesions of traumatic origin, and vascular problems.

Their approach, they claim, allows brain function to be completely restored, creating normal function in the nervous system. Because there are now a number of well controlled studies documenting brain regeneration with low level laser, it is intriguing to see this continuing steady stream of studies from around the world that demonstrate the safety and efficacy of regenerating brain function with low level laser.

Laser Heals Parkinson’s Disease

Molecular Dege n 2009 Jun 17;4:26

This study out of the University of Virginia is one of the first well controlled studies to show a positive effect with Parkinson’s.

It has been hypothesized that reduced nerve transport contributes to the degeneration of nerves in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Mitochondria supply the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) needed to support many functions essential for the survival of neuronal cells. Furthermore, mitochondria in PD tissues are metabolically and functionally compromised.

The results from this study found that nerve transport is reduced in PD and that a single, brief treatment with near-infrared light can restore axonal transport to control levels! Amazing!

These results are the first demonstration that Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) can increase axonal transport in neuronal cells and they suggest that LLLT could be developed as a novel treatment to improve neuronal function in patients with PD.

Laser Helps Morphine Addiction

Behav Brain Res. 2009 Jan 23;196(2):268-70

One of the most controversial aspects of laser therapy concerns the use of laser to help patients who abuse cigarettes, alcohol, and other addictive substances. In the present study, the effects of low-intensity laser therapy (LILT) on morphine-dependent rats were examined. Low-intensity lasers with a power density of 12.5 J/cm2 significantly decreased total addiction behavior in the rats, again demonstrating the probable benefit from laser therapy to reduce cravings for many types of drugs.
It is intriguing because laser therapy can increase the body’s production of natural opioids. Thus, it makes sense that it might be of benefit to relieve the somatic effects of many types of addictive substances.

More Support for Laser as a Cure for Addiction

Behav Brain Res. 2009 Jan 23;196(2):268-70.

In the present study, the effects of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on withdrawal signs of morphine-addicted rats were examined. This study showed that the LLLT significantly decreased total withdrawal score (TWS). These results suggest that LLLT attenuates the expression of withdrawal signs in morphine-dependent rats. Further studies may clarify the likely role of LLLT in clinical management of opioid withdrawal syndrome.

Laser Stimulates Brain Regeneration

Lasers Surg Med. 2009 Apr;41(4):277-81

A recent study by one of lasers leading researchers, Dr. Rochkind, a neurosurgeon, demonstrated that laser stimulates regeneration of nerves in the brain.

In this study he looked at the effect of 780 nm laser irradiation on the growth of embryonic rat brain cultures. Whole brains were dissected and were either irradiated with near-infrared 780 nm laser beam for 1, 4, or 7 minutes, or cultured without irradiation. Laser powers were 10, 30, 50, 110, 160, 200, and 250 mW. 780 nm laser irradiation accelerated fiber sprouting and neuronal cell migration.

Furthermore, unlike control cultures, the irradiated cultures contained a much higher number of large size neurons which formed dense branched interconnected networks of thick neuronal fibers. It was his conclusion as a neurosurgeon, that laser therapy should be considered as potential procedure for cell therapy of neuronal brain injury or disease.


Photomed Laser Surg 2010 Dec 23

It is well known that laser therapy is helpful for all types of pain and soft tissue problems. However, one of the most exciting trends in laser therapy is the use of lasers to heal the brain, nervous system, heart, lungs, and liver. The following two studies demonstrate the value of laser therapy in treating the brain.

In the first study, patient 1 had a traumatic brain injury for 7 years following a motor vehicle accident. 500 milliwatts of Infrared light was applied directly to the patient’s skull. Initially, the patient was only able to work for 20 min. on her computer. After eight weekly treatments, her ability increased to 3 hours! The patient continues to perform nightly home treatments because if she stops treatment for more than 2 weeks, she regresses.

Patient 2 had a history of traumatic brain injuries following a sports accident, a fall and military service. An MRI showed frontal lobe atrophy. Before treatment to her skull, she was on medical disability for 5 months. After 4 months of treatment, medical disability was discontinued and she returned to working full-time as an executive! After 9 months of treatment, tests showed dramatically improved brain function.

At the time of this report, both patients were continuing treatment. The scientists who performed these studies concluded that light therapy to the brain can improve cognition and reduce costs of traumatic brain injury treatment.

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries – Study 2

Photomed Laser Surg 2010 Dec 23

After an optic nerve injury, brain damage spreads from the optic nerve to other areas of the brain, making adjacent areas vulnerable to more degeneration and loss of function. In this study, the researchers showed that treatment to the skull with 670 nanometers of infrared light improved the function of the optic nerve and prevented further degeneration.

This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that infrared light applied to the skull after a traumatic brain injury can improve brain function and reduce collateral damage.