In vivo studies of low level laser (light) therapy for traumatic brain injury

Weijun Xuan, Qiuhe Wu, Ying Ying Huang, Takahiro Ando, Liyi Huang, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Low-level laser (or light) therapy (LLLT) is attracting growing interest to treat both stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The fact that near-infrared light can penetrate into the brain allows non-invasive treatment to be carried out with a low likelihood of treatment-related adverse events. It is proposed that red and NIR light is absorbed by chromophores in the mitochondria of cells leading to changes in gene transcription and upregulation of proteins involved in cell survival, antioxidant production, collagen synthesis, reduction of chronic inflammation and cell migration and proliferation. We developed a mouse model of controlled cortical impact (CCI) TBI and examined the effect of 0, 1, 3, and 14 daily 810-nm CW laser treatments in the CCI model as measured by neurological severity score and wire grip and motion test. 1 laser Tx gave a significant improvement while 3 laser Tx was even better. Surprisingly 14 laser Tx was no better than no treatment. Histological studies at necropsy suggested that the neurodegeneration was reduced at 14 days and that the cortical lesion was repaired by BrdU+ve neural progenitor (stem) cells at 28 days. Transcranial laser therapy is a promising treatment for acute (and chronic TBI) and the lack of side-effects and paucity of alternative treatments encourages early clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMechanisms for Low-Light Therapy VII
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventMechanisms for Low-Light Therapy VII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 21 Jan 201221 Jan 2012

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMechanisms for Low-Light Therapy VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Controlled cortical impact
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Mouse model
  • Neurological severity score
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Wire grip and motion test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging


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