Monday, March 21, 2011

Light Therapy May Aid Traumatic Brain Injury

By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Two patients with long-term deficits from traumatic brain injury (TBI) have shown substantial improvement in cognitive function with transcranial light therapy, investigators reported.

A TBI patient on medical disability returned to work as a technology consultant after four months of nightly, at-home treatment with near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) placed on the forehead and scalp.

Seven years after a closed-head TBI, another patient experienced improved sustained attention capability from 20 minutes to three hours with ongoing LED treatment.

Both patients regressed with discontinuation of the light therapy, Margaret A. Naeser, PhD, of Boston University and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, and colleagues reported online in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery.

"Results from the two chronic TBI cases described here, along with those from previous [light therapy] studies with acute stroke patients and chronic, major depression cases, suggest that further, controlled research with this methodology is warranted," Naeser and her co-authors wrote in conclusion.


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