• There are no approved therapies for traumatic brain injury (TBI) despite an incidence of over 1 million cases per year in both the civilian and military arenas. Transcranial application of near-infrared laser or LED light is non-invasive, inexpensive and without side-effects. The light penetrates the scalp and skull reaching the brain where it has pronounced neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory effects and can stimulate neurogenesis allowing the brain to repair itself. We have devised stable, reproducible and relevant animal models of TBI. These are quantifiable in order to allow different optical parameters to be compared (wavelength, irradiance, fluence, illumination time and repetition frequency) and also allow histopathological evidence of positive results to be obtained and evaluated.

    We have found that a single exposure to 810-nm laser 4 hours post-TBI improves neurological performance in mice with TBI. Furthermore LLLT increases BDNF expression, neurogenesis (formation of new brain cells) and synaptogenesis (new connections between existing brain cells). Taken together these findings suggest that transcranial LLLT can have wide benefits in stroke, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and also in psychiatric diseases such as depression and schizophrenia.
    In collaboration with clinicians we have shown evidence of benefit of LLLT in clinical trials for chronic TBI, major depression and anxiety and primary progressive aphasia.

    Related Publications
    Castano AP, Dai T, Yaroslavsky I, Cohen R, Apruzzese AW, Smotrich MH, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser therapy for zymosan-induced arthritis in rats: Importance of illumination time. Lasers Surg Med. 2007, 39(6):543-550

  • Demidova-Rice TN, Salomatina EV, Yaroslavsky AN, Herman IM, Hamblin MR, Low-level light stimulates excisional wound healing in mice, Lasers Surg Med, 2007, 39(9):706-715

  • Schiffer F, Johnston AL. Polcari A, Teicher MH, Webb RH, Hamblin MR. Psychological benefits 2 and 4 weeks after a single treatment with near infrared light to the forehead: A pilot study of 10 patients with major depression and anxiety, Behavioral Brain Res. 2009, 5, 46-55.

  • Hashmi JT, Huang YY, Osmani BZ, Sharma SK, Naeser MA, Hamblin MR. Role of Low Level Laser Therapy in Neurorehabilitation. Phys Med Rehabil, 2010, 2:S292-S305

  • Naeser MA, Saltmarche A, Krengel MH, Hamblin MR, Knight JA. Improved Cognitive Function After Transcranial, Light-Emitting Diode Treatments in Chronic, Traumatic Brain Injury: Two Case Reports. Photomed Laser Surg. 2011, 2011. May;29(5):351-8

  • Ando T, Xuan W, Xu T, Dai T, Sharma SK, Kharkwal GB, Huang YY, Wu Q., Whalen MJ, Sato S, Obara M, Hamblin MR, Comparison of therapeutic effects between pulsed and continuous wave 810-nm wavelength laser irradiation for traumatic brain injury in mice. PLoS ONE 6 (2011) e26212-26220.

  • Wu Q, Xuan W, Ando T, Xu T, Huang L, Huang YY, Dai T, Dhital S, Sharma SK. Whalen MJ, Hamblin MR. Low level laser therapy for closed-head traumatic brain injury in mice: effect of different wavelengths. Lasers Surg Med. 2012 Mar;44(3):218-26

  • Huang YY, Gupta A, Vecchio D, Arce VJ, Huang SF, Xuan W, Hamblin MR. Transcranial low level laser (light) therapy for traumatic brain injury. J Biophotonics. 2012 Jul 17. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201200077


Research Projects