Article Review: Photobiomodulation for Brain Disorders

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

We at Integrated Health Coaching in Fayetteville, Arkansas and as part of our Head-On program are now offering a novel light treatment called Photobiomodulation via Vielight. Photobiomodulation is effective for the treatment of a number of psychological, psychiatric, and neurological disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, TBI, Alzheimers). It can also be used to boost cognitive function, such as attention, memory, and reaction time in otherwise healthy individuals.

Photobiomodulation (PBM) works to improve brain function by enhancing neural repair and cell function. It does so by facilitating the synthesis of ATP, which stimulates mitochondrial respiration. Essentially, it helps neuron cells make energy by increasing glucose metabolism and oxygen consumption. This also leads to increased antioxidant effects and decreased inflammatory factors, which reduces cell death. The net result is the stabilization and regulation of brain activity.

Indeed, many studies have demonstrated the benefits of PBM in a number of conditions. In animal models of traumatic brain injury (TBI), there was less cortical tissue loss in a group of mice treated with PBM than in the control group that was given a sham treatment. This decrease in tissue loss was associated with decreased measures of depression and anxiety as well as increases in measures of learning and memory. Human studies of PBM in TBI showed increases in executive functions, such as longer concentration times, better memory for read material, improved math performance, and increased inhibition accuracy. Studies of the use of PBM in PTSD have shown improved sleep, better social function, and cognition, as well as decreased depression, anxiety, and headache. In patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, PBM has been shown to decrease angry outbursts, anxiety, and bouts of wandering.

In addition to the many benefits of PBM, it is important to note that it also lacks the side effects that are frequently experienced with the medications that are commonly prescribed for psychiatric and neurological disorders. If you are interested in learning how PBM can benefit you or someone you love, please contact us and we will be happy to introduce you to the program.

LInk to Article:

Article Review By: Kristy Snyder Colling, Ph.D. and Robert Coben, Ph.D.

Hamblin, M. (2016). Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders. BBA Clinical, 6, 113-124.

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