LED brain imageTranscranial LED light therapy, sometimes called photobiomodulation, is one of the safe alternative therapies the BART Foundation believes may help brain injury survivors. The BART Foundation aims to promote better outcomes for TBI/ABI survivors by answering three questions – which alternative therapies are likely to work, where can they be found, and how can they be afforded? One of the ways we fulfill our mission is by carefully watching global research and clinical trial outcomes and sharing that information, in user-friendly language, with the TBI/ABI community.

Like HBOT, there are already some FDA-approved applications using photobiomodulation, but these do not include TBI/ABI. This recent research article, Can transcranial photobiomodulation improve cognitive function? A systematic review of human studies, in the January 2023 issue of Ageing Research Reviews, researchers evaluated the effect of tPBM for enhancing human cognitive function in healthy adults and remediating impaired cognitive function in adults with cognitive disorders. 

The researchers conducted a literature search from three electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science) of studies conducted from 1987 to May 2022. The cognitive function being evaluated included learning and memory, attention, executive function, language, and global cognitive function. Of the 35 studies identified, 29 (82.9 %) studies reported positive improvement in cognitive functions after tPBM. All nine studies on participants with subjective memory complaints, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia showed positive outcomes. Seven (87.5 %) studies on traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients also showed positive results. A series of clinical trials on stroke patients showed positive trends on improved neurological deficit at first but was prematurely terminated later at phase III due to the lack of statistical significance.

While all indicators point to the fact that tPBM seems to improve cognitive function, it’s important to note that only half of the reviewed clinical trials were randomized control trials. As a result, further investigation is warranted. However, this collection of research is a positive step in the right direction.

To learn more about this treatment modality, the BART Foundation is offering a webinar: Light Therapy for TBI and other neurological conditions with Anita Saltmarche, a thought leader in the emerging field of photobiomodulation. This webinar will take place on Zoom on Thursday, August 24, 2023, at 7 pm EST and is the second in our Alternative Therapies for Brain Injury Survivors series.

Anita headshot outdoors thumbshotAbout our presenter: Anita was a Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto for many years and the principal investigator, researcher, and consultant to the Ontario Ministry of Health on a large, multi-site interventional clinical trial. Anita will speak about the effects of photobiomodulation and how it can effectively treat chronic TBI and other neurological conditions.

By attending the webinar, participants will develop a basic understanding of:

  • How light therapy affects cells and tissue, and the potential benefits for those living with TBI and other neurological conditions
  • Consideration if you are thinking about purchasing or trying light therapy
  • Integrate light therapy devices into an integrative treatment approach for TBI and other neurological conditions
  • Register for this Zoom session today!