Photobiomodulation and Traumatic Brain Injury, Again

Colin Cook

I first reported on photobiomodulation (PBM) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in this space almost three and a half years ago. Research has not stopped since then, so I wanted to take another look.

Prestigious Researchers

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will remember Michael R. Hamblin. Hamblin is the medical doctor and researcher who has done more than anyone else to gain traction for PBM in the public consciousness. He continues to do so, and in 2018, he published a review article in Journal of Neuroscience Research: “There is evidence that PBM can help the brain repair itself by stimulating neurogenesis, upregulating BDNF synthesis, and encouraging synaptogenesis. In healthy human volunteers (including students and healthy elderly women), PBM has been shown to increase regional cerebral blood flow, tissue oxygenation, and improve memory, mood, and cognitive function.” There have also been promising clinical studies on PBM for TBI.

In 2020, a case report in Frontiers in Neurology described the case of a professional hockey player with a history of concussion. He suffered from difficulty concentrating, mild anxiety, and headaches. But eight weeks of PBM treatments at home with a helmet-type PBM device using a nasal probe gained him “increased brain volumes, improved functional connectivity, and increased cerebral perfusion and improvements on neuropsychological test scores.”

Photobiomodulation for Brain Injury

Of course, a single case is simply an anecdote. But that hockey player is probably very happy to have discovered PBM. And the case report authors wanted to publish in order to generate interest for doing some clinical studies. I will be on the lookout for these clinical studies, and I will make an effort to report on them for you in this blog.

But what does it mean when a medical journal reports success based on a patient’s at-home self-administered treatment? Doesn’t that suggest that a treatment is poised on the brink of mainstream acceptance?

I have included the case of the hockey player simply to justify my excitement over the possibilities for PBM. But if you are a hockey player with a history of concussions, don’t come to us. We don’t even have LED-lined helmets here. Get to a doctor and ask if medically supervised PBM can help with your TBI.

Good For the Brain, Good for the Body

If an LED-lined helmet can offer relief to a brain-injured patient, imagine what full-body PBM can do for you. The abstract for Michael Hamblin’s review article said PBM can “stimulate healing, protect tissue from dying, increase mitochondrial function, improve blood flow, and tissue oxygenation. PBM can also act to reduce swelling, increase antioxidants, decrease inflammation, protect against apoptosis, and modulate microglial activation state.” In other words, PBM’s cellular action can probably revitalize every part of your body.

Peak Recovery & Health Center offers full-body PBM in a PBM bed. It’s not a medical treatment, but every day there is more evidence that it can revitalize your cellular health. It takes about 15 minutes, and many users report immediate effects, including reduced pain, healthier skin, and even increased flexibility. And you don’t need a brain injury to try it. Book a session today.