LED Light Therapy/Photobiomodulation
The use of transcranial LED light therapy, sometimes called photobiomodulation, is an emerging approach to brain healing. Like HBOT, there are already some FDA-approved applications, but these do not include TBI/ABI. There is a wide array of organizations representing practitioners but we are not aware of any easy way to access lists of practitioners. We have some useful resources to share at this time, with hopefully more to come soon. There are dozens of organizations devoted to the study of light therapies and low-level laser therapy worldwide including the North American Association of Laser Therapy, the International Academy of Laser Medicine and Surgery, and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Some of the notable journals covering this field include Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, and Lasers in Medical Science and Physiotherapy Practice and Research.
We encourage you to watch this marvelous YouTube video by Michael Hamblin, Ph.D. Dr. Hamblin was a Principal Investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, and is now a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. In this 25 minute video, he explains the history of photobiomodulation, the mechanisms involved, and the clinical support for it as therapy for many kinds of TBI/ABI.
Some specific practitioners who have been vetted by one of the thought leaders in this field include:
Elkins Park, PA 19027
With three greater Delaware Valley area locations, QuietMind’s approach combines near-infrared light treatment with neurofeedback. Their innovative practice offers clinical treatment of ABI and other neurological conditions, as well as on-going clinical trials of their hybrid therapy for both age-related memory decline, and for Parkinson’s disease. They are currently recruiting patients for clinical trials. There is no fee for trial participants, who may undertake the therapies at home via computer. They are also a distributor of Vielight Products.
Two highly experienced, licensed Acupuncturists who use transcranial LED therapies to help treat ABI (PTSD, stroke, dementia, etc.)
There is an RN light researcher in Toronto, Canada, who works remotely with patients throughout North America (Via Skype, or video conferencing). She will sell or rent suitable equipment, teach protocols for its proper use, and further support applications.
Two Canadian firms produce photobiomodulation devices which they claim help ABI survivors regain cognitive functions. These devices are approved and in use in Canada. Our Foundation does not endorse or recommend any particular companies or products. Nonetheless, thought leaders in the field have been known to use devices made by these firms in their scientific studies.
Please read our Disclaimer Page again before using this resource guide. There are no definitive, uniformly accepted standards for persons claiming to offer alternative therapies. In some states anyone can hang out a shingle, even without suitable training or credentials, and claim to be a craniosachral worker, neuro-feedback practitioner, nutritionist or other therapist. To address this critical pitfall we have consulted acknowledged thought leaders in each field, followed their guidance, and presented lists of practitioners that are likely to be well qualified.
Even then there are no guarantees. One should seek a frank discussion with each prospective physician or therapist in order to explore their background. How long have they been practicing their specialty? What prior experience do they have in treating patients with brain injuries? Can they offer references or testimonials? Nothing is 100 percent effective, not even aspirin or acetaminophen. With alternative therapies, as with mainstream approaches, there is always an element of chance, luck, randomness. What works brilliantly for one survivor, may not work for another, and we may never know why. All one can do is try one’s best, and hope to be lucky.
We are unable to make specific referrals - not only for liability reasons, but also because we don’t personally know most of the practitioners. Please review their information posted and then call prospects to inquire how they might help your personal condition. Most physicians and therapists will let you know if they feel they can help, or will offer an alternate suggestion.