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, Transcranial Photobiomodulation Treatment: Significant Improvements in Four Ex-Football Players with Possible Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, appeared earlier this year in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports and was co-authored by Margaret Naeser of the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University’s Department of Neurology.

While the published research is highly technical and medical, the project was designed to investigate the impact of photobiomodulation on four former football players, whose careers ranged from 11-16 years, with diagnosed traumatic encephalopathy syndrome/possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The results were the following:

  • The three younger cases (ages 55, 57, 65) improved significantly on three to six neuropsychological tests/subtests at 1 week or 1-month Post-tPBM, compared to Pre-Treatment
  • The older case (age 74) improved on three tests. There was significant improvement at 1 month on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, pain, and sleep.
  • One case discontinued narcotic pain medications and had reduced tinnitus.
  • At 2 months Post-tPBM, two cases regressed. Then, home tPBM was applied, and significant improvements were seen.

While this is a very small sample size with a unique population, the outcomes do have relevance for the TBI/ABI community. If you would like more information about transcranial LED light therapy/photobiomodulation we have several video interviews with Dr. Naeser on our media page that we highly recommend viewing.