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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) - World First Clinical Trial of laser therapy

Mater Research in Brisbane is commencing the world’s first clinical trial of photobiomodulation (PBM or laser therapy) on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in young adults.

As many of you already know, IBD is a chronic auto-inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract with high reported levels of fatigue, depression and pain.  The incidence of IBD in the developed world is estimated at ~ 1% of the population – usually peaking in the 20-30 year old and 70-80 year old.  There are ~ 3 million IBD sufferers in the US alone. 

This new clinical trial involves young participants aged 18-35 years using 30 minutes of SYMBYX PBM therapy weekly for 10 weeks. The trial will be led by two senior researchers at Mater Research, Adj Prof. Liisa Laakso (pictured above left) and Dr Tatjana Ewais (above right).   

Liisa Laakso is an Adj Prof, Senior Research Fellow at Mater Research Brisbane, an Honorary Associate Professor at The University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine, and an Adjunct Professor of Physiotherapy in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work at Griffith University, Gold Coast.

Dr Tatjana Ewais is a Lead Psychiatrist at Mater Young Adult Health Centre in Brisbane and a Chair of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Queensland. Dr Ewais holds academic positions at the School of Medicine at University of Queensland, Griffith University and Mater Research. 

Biological samples will be taken from the the 28 participants to allow for the analysis of inflammatory marker levels, microbiome diversity and composition pre and post SYMBYX laser treatment. Trial participants will also be asked to keep an observation or pain diary over the period of the treatment and complete questionaries provided by the researchers. The trial has ethics approval and should have results ready for publication in 2023. We are excited to be involved and look forward to testing the impacts and benefits of photobiomodulation on this debilitating condition that affects so many.