MEDIA RELEASE—SYMBYX Neuro Helmet Shows Promise in Parkinson’s: SAN Trial Highlights

SYMBYX, an Australian medtech company developing light therapies for intractable conditions, today announced the results of a Sydney Adventist Hospital (commonly known as the San) triple-blinded, randomised controlled trial investigating the effects of a new red light therapy and infrared light therapy helmet on patients living with Parkinson’s Disease.

The trial, coordinated by the San, was conducted remotely (ie, at home) under the supervision of a clinical team including the San Director of Research and Neurologist, Dr Geoffrey Herkes (MBBS, PhD, FRACP). 

The five areas tested included:

  • facial expression
  • upper limb coordination & movement
  • lower limb coordination & movement
  • walking gait
  • tremor

The following table summarises the results of medium to strong responders across the Active treatment and Placebo groups. 70% of Active participants and 55% of Placebo responders were identified as medium to strong responders. The study, under peer review, showcases positive outcomes from "responders" (70% of subjects) using the SYMBYX Neuro helmet, with a statistically significant P value of <= 0.05 from Paired T-test analysis indicating moderate to significant clinical improvements.

"There is clearly a placebo effect from using light therapy on some patients, but not on all," said Dr. Herkes. "Furthermore, one would expect the positive effect of using a sham helmet to diminish over time. We look forward to reporting on more data from this trial in the coming months. If you consider the sub-category results, however, then the positive benefits of active helmet light therapy become clearer."

Parkinson’s is an incurable, progressive neurological disorder, that results from dopamine deficiency, impairing movement and causing symptoms like muscle rigidity, tremor, and walking difficulty, alongside depression and anxiety. With 12 million diagnosed globally (excluding India and China), actual cases, including undiagnosed early signs, are likely 3-4 times higher, making it the fastest-growing neurodegenerative disorder worldwide.

Light therapy (often referred to as Photobiomodulation), works in several ways to reduce Parkinson’s symptoms:

  • Enhance cell mitochondria for better energy; helps with Parkinson’s fatigue
  • Boost gut neurotransmitter production; improves cognition and motor skills in Parkinson's.
  • Alleviate muscle-related pain by modulating nerve ion channels.
  • Reduce inflammation with anti-inflammatory biomarkers.

People living with Parkinson’s who have used light therapy on their gut and/or transcranially, have returned to activities they previously enjoyed such as playing the piano, shopping, carrying groceries and also gardening more easily. Some have also had improvements in their sense of smell, digestion, sleep and energy levels.

“This San trial of the new SYMBYX Neuro light therapy helmet is critical research in Parkinson’s. PD has historically been an intractable, neurodegenerative condition that typically declines with no improvements possible, whereas the SYMBYX Neuro users showed improvement across all measures,” Dr Markman said.

An abstract on the trial has been accepted by the American Academy of Neurology (ANN), and Dr Herkes will present it in person in Boston at the AAN’s annual meeting from 22-27 April.


Dr Markman, SYMBYX CEO, and Dr Geoffrey Herkes are available for interview.  For media inquiries, please contact our team at 


This transcranial wellness device emits red and near-infrared photons of light aimed at enhancing overall wellbeing.

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