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Light therapy and Parkinson's

Light therapy, or Photobiomodulation (PMB), is the non-thermal delivery of waves of light energy with a therapeutic benefit. At an optimal wavelength, intensity and exposure time, light aimed at human tissue sets off a series of biochemical events that can result in chronic pain relief, reduced inflammation, and even increased dopamine and serotonin production in the colon. 

SYMBYX’s medical-grade PDCare laser is easy to use at home and ARTG/CE listed for reduction in Parkinson's and Fibromyalgia symptoms. The device works in the infrared part of the visible light spectrum emitting wavelengths of energy of 904 nanometers. 


Light therapy is not a new area of medicine. There are currently > 4,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies reporting on its incident-free, protective and restorative properties for a number of important health conditions. In 1903, the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Danish Physician, Niels Ryberg Finsen, for his work in treating Smallpox and Tuberculosis with light. Further interest in the field was pioneered by Professor Endre Mester, a Hungarian physician and scientist, who in 1967 successfully used light to heal wounds and regrow hair in mice and people. NASA also experimented frequently with light in the 1970's and 1980's and successfully used LED light to grow flowers in space. Today, light is used to pre-prime patients prior to surgery (including cardiovascular surgery) as well as for several neurodegenerative disorders.


 Light therapy includes the use of both LED lights and lasers. Laser is a single wavelength that is more focused, powerful and operates at faster speeds than LED. Lasers also transmit further than LEDs and with fewer errors.

High quality, medical grade laser diodes are preferred by and incorporated into all SYMBYX devices because they provide greater precision, increased reliability and consistency over time, and significantly reduced treatment times versus LEDs. SYMBYX devices deliver laser light to the stomach, neck and specific chronic pain sites.

PBM is typically measured in nanometres and the colour or visibility of the light will depend on the wavelength. Applying an optimal dosage of light (which considers wavelength, application time and intensity or strength) is critical.  Treatment or application above or below a threshold level of nanometers will have little or no effect.


Parkinson’s is both a neurological and movement disorder which occurs when brain cells producing dopamine (a neurotransmitter essential for relaying messages for controlling movement) slowly begin to die off. When dopamine levels get too low, neurons (or brain nerve cells) start to fire more randomly, leading to the classic symptoms of Parkinson’s – tremour, rigidity and/or stiff muscles, slowness of movement and unstable posture. Additionally, patients may experience problems sleeping, decreased sense of smell, depression or anxiety and problems with more typical brain functions such as planning, making decisions or paying attention.


As the global population ages, neurological disorders are on the rise. Parkinson’s is thought to affect around 12-15 million people worldwide with the global burden of Parkinson’s more than doubling over the past decade. (GBD 2016 Parkinson’s Disease Collaborators, Lancet Neurol 2018;17:939-53)

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing and second most common neurological disease with 38 adults diagnosed every day in Australia. That’s about 1 person every 40 minutes. Only 20% of those adults are under the age of 50, and just 10% are diagnosed before they turn 40. Diagnosis usually happens around age 65. (Source:Deloitte Access Economics. Living with Parkinson’s Disease: An updated economic analysis 2014)


Parkinson’s symptoms vary from individual to individual as it is an extremely heterogeneous disease affecting everyone differently. By implementing SYMBYX’s treatment protocols, our flexible PDCare hand-held device is used to treat the gut, wide-ranging positive changes are being recorded by patients. Such changes include motor improvements, better sleep, lightened mood, reduced muscle pain and even returned sense of smell.

By treating the gut with laser light, SYMBYX is able to effect change in a patient’s microbiome which ultimately leads to improved brain function. You might now ask yourself how this is even possible!? Well...the PDCare Laser therapy increases gut fermentation of dietary fibre, which in turn facilitates the production of helpful gut metabolites (called short chain fatty acids or SCFAs). SCFAs are important for manufacturing the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin that are in short supply in a Parkinson’s patient (note: about half of our natural occurring dopamine actually originates in the gut). In essence, the gut takes on an even greater load and compensates (as much as possible) for the reduction of dopamine production in the brain.

The PDCare Laser by SYMBYX is CE marked/ARTG-listed for reducing Parkinson's symptoms.


On 2 July, 2021 BMC Neurology published a ground-breaking research manuscript measuring the impact of PBM on reducing Parkinson’s symptoms.

The study concluded “PBM was shown to be a safe and potentially effective treatment. Improvements were maintained for as long as treatment continued, for up to one year in a neurodegenerative disease where decline is typically expected."

How does light therapy offer neurological protection in Parkinson's disease?

Treating the microbiome to affect changes in Parkinson’s patients. (The human microbiome is also intimately associated with human health, with a likely role in obesity, metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and divergent diseases including cardiovascular disease, IBS and perhaps even autism).