Brain Photobiomodulation Therapy: a Narrative Review

Farzad Salehpour, Javad Mahmoudi, Farzin Kamari, Saeed Sadigh-Eteghad, Seyed Hossein Rasta, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

280 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Brain photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy using red to near-infrared (NIR) light is an innovative treatment for a wide range of neurological and psychological conditions. Red/NIR light is able to stimulate complex IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (cytochrome c oxidase) and increase ATP synthesis. Moreover, light absorption by ion channels results in release of Ca2+ and leads to activation of transcription factors and gene expression. Brain PBM therapy enhances the metabolic capacity of neurons and stimulates anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and antioxidant responses, as well as neurogenesis and synaptogenesis. Its therapeutic role in disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease, as well as to treat stroke, brain trauma, and depression has gained increasing interest. In the transcranial PBM approach, delivering a sufficient dose to achieve optimal stimulation is challenging due to exponential attenuation of light penetration in tissue. Alternative approaches such as intracranial and intranasal light delivery methods have been suggested to overcome this limitation. This article reviews the state-of-the-art preclinical and clinical evidence regarding the efficacy of brain PBM therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6601-6636
Number of pages36
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Volume55
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain function
  • Cortical neurons
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Photobiomodulation therapy
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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