Following is a selection of peer-reviewed, scientific research providing an overview of how laser therapy works on a cellular and biochemical level...how it alters the microbiome...how it impacts the cells that are targeted with the light - to reduce pain and inflammation and promote general tissue repair...and more recently, how it has been shown to reduce common Parkinson's disease symptoms.
How Photobiomodulation (PBM) or Laser Therapy Works
Light is used to reduce pain, inflammation, oedema, and to regenerate damaged tissues such as wounds, bones, and tendons....This review will cover the signaling that occurs from PBM and examines the difference between healthy and stressed cells. PBM has a marked effect on cells and can precondition muscles about to undergo exercise.
"Proposed Mechanisms of PBM"
PBM has existed for almost 50 years but still has not gained widespread acceptance, largely due to uncertainty about the molecular, cellular, and tissular mechanisms of action. However, in recent years, much knowledge has been gained in this area, which is summarised in this review.
Please watch this space...A SYMBYX led research paper is soon to be published in a leading, international, peer reviewed journal. Please subscribe to our newsletter and updates in the footer below. We will update all our subscribers as soon as this paper is available.
"Modulation of Neural Activity"
A single session of PBM significantly increases the power of certain higher frequency brain waves (including Gamma waves) and therefore interrupts aberrant neural circuits, including those found in Parkinson's patients. These changes were recorded in studies comparing PBM to placebo (or sham) treatment.
"Exploring the Effects of PBM on Resting and Evoked Brain Activity in Humans Using MRI"
"Why and how does light therapy offer neurological protection in Parkinson's disease?.....As it stands, PBM in the experimental setting has been shown to both protect and rescue neurons from degeneration after Parkinsonian injury, something that current therapies in patients do not do; that in itself, should be an incentive for trial in the clinical setting".
"The brain suffers from many different disorders that can be classified into three broad groupings: traumatic events (stroke, traumatic brain injury, and global ischemia), degenerative diseases (dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), and psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder). There is some evidence that all these seemingly diverse conditions can be beneficially affected by applying light to the head".
"Microbiome manipulation may relieve non motor symptoms and improve quality of life"
"PBM of the human microbiome: implications for metabolic and inflammatory diseases"
The human microbiome is intimately associated with human health, with a role in obesity, metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and divergent diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The microbiome can be changed by diet, probiotics, and faecal transplants, which has flow-on effects to health outcomes. PBM has a therapeutic effect on inflammation and neurological disorders (amongst others) and has been reported to influence metabolic disorders and obesity. The aim of this study was to examine the possibility that PBM could influence the microbiome of mice.....
...If this is confirmed in humans, the possibility exists for PBMt to be used as an adjunct therapy in treatment of obesity and other lifestyle-related disorders, as well as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
"The clinical implications of altering the microbiome using PBM warrants further investigation"
Pain & Inflammation
"Implications for Anesthesia and Pain Relief." 2016
PBM for pain relief has been used for more than 30 years; however, the mechanism of its effectiveness has not been well understood. This review provides strong neuroscience evidence identifying inhibition of nerve function as a mechanism for the clinical application of PBM in pain and anesthesia.
"Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain"
This high-quality review shows a clear reduction in pain immediately after treatment and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.
"Efficacy of low-level laser therapy on pain and disability in knee osteoarthritis"
This is a systematic review of randomised, placebo-controlled trials showing excellent results in pain and disability reduction.
"Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of PBM" Michael R Hamblin May 2017 AIMS Biophys"
One of the most reproducible effects of PBM is an overall reduction in inflammation, which is particularly important for disorders of the joints, traumatic injuries, lung disorders, and in the brain. PBM can reduce inflammation in the brain, abdominal fat, wounds, lungs, spinal cord.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and tenderness. PBM is an emerging, nonpharmacological treatment for relieving musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain. PBM is an effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatment for fibromyalgia.
The aim of the following study was to "evaluate the effects of PBM in patients with fibromyalgia". PBM provided relief from fibromyalgia symptoms in patients and should be further investigated as a therapeutic tool.
"PBM has good pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to increase the quality of life in Fibromyalgia patients".