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Improvements in clinical signs of Parkinson’s disease using photobiomodulation: a prospective proof-of-concept study.

Abstract Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with no cure and few treatment options. Its incidence is increasing due to aging populations, longer disease duration and potentially as a COVID-19 sequela. Photobiomodulation (PBM) has been successfully used in animal models to reduce the signs of PD and to protect dopaminergic neurons.

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of PBM to mitigate clinical signs of PD in a prospective proof-of-concept study, using a combination of transcranial and remote treatment, in order to inform on best practice for a larger randomized placebo-controlled trial (RCT).

Methods: Twelve participants with idiopathic PD were recruited. Six were randomly chosen to begin 12 weeks of transcranial, intranasal, neck and abdominal PBM. The remaining 6 were waitlisted for 14 weeks before commencing the same treatment. After the 12-week treatment period, all participants were supplied with PBM devices to continue home treatment. Participants were assessed for mobility, fine motor skills, balance and cognition before treatment began, after 4 weeks of treatment, after 12 weeks of treatment and the end of the home treatment period. A Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test was used to assess treatment effectiveness at a significance level of 5%.

Results: Measures of mobility, cognition, dynamic balance and fine motor skill were significantly improved (p< 0.05) with PBM treatment for 12 weeks and up to one year. Many individual improvements were above the minimal clinically important difference, the threshold judged to be meaningful for participants. Individual improvements varied but many continued for up to one year with sustained home treatment. There was a demonstrable Hawthorne Effect that was below the treatment effect. No side effects of the treatment were observed.


There are currently 8,000 + peer-reviewed scientific studies reporting on the incident-free, protective and restorative properties of light therapy for a number of health conditions.

Neural Regeneration Research. PMC 2017

Dr John Mitrofanis

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

Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. Elsevier 2016

D. Felice et al.

Microbiota-gut-brain signalling in Parkinson's disease: Implications for non-motor symptoms.

Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery

A. Liebert et al.

Remote Photobiomodulation Treatment for the Clinical Signs of Parkinson's Disease: A Case Series Conducted During COVID-19

More Research Supporting Light Therapy

A Holistic Perspective on How Photobiomodulation May Influence Fatigue, Pain, and Depression in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Beyond Molecular Mechanisms - Biomedicines

A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study of a Transcranial Photobiomodulation Helmet in Parkinson’s Disease: Post-Hoc Analysis of Motor Outcomes - Journal of Clinical Medicine

"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." - BMC Neurology

Why and how does light therapy offer neurological protection in Parkinson's disease? - NCBI

John Mitrofanis, Ph.D.

Microbiota-gut-brain signalling in Parkinson's disease: Implications for non-motor symptoms - Science Direct.

Valeria D. Felice, Eamonn, M. Quigley, Aideen, M. Sullivan, Gerard W. O'Keeffe, Siobhain M. O'Mahony

Mechanisms and Applications of the Anti-inflammatory effects of Photobiomodulation - AIMS Biophysics Journal.

Michael R Hamblin, 19 May 2017.

Strong evidence identifies inhibition of nerve function as a mechanism for the clinical application of PBM in pain and anesthesia. - Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Remote Photobiomodulation Treatment for the Clinical Signs of Parkinson's Disease: A Case Series Conducted During Lockdown - Pub Med

Ann Liebert, Brian Bicknell, E-Liisa Laakso, Parastoo Jalilitabaei, Sharon Tilley, Hosen Kiat, John Mitrofanis.

Transcranial photobiomodulation in the management of brain disorders - Journal of Photochemistry.

Montazeri, K., Farhadi, M., Fekrazad, R., Akbarnejad, Z., Chaibakhsh, S., & Mahmoudian, S. (2021).

The application of low-level laser therapy for the symptomatic care of late stage Parkinson's disease: A non-controlled, non-randomized study - Laser Surg Med.

Maloney R, Shanks S, Maloney J (2010).

Exploring the Effects of Near Infrared Light on Resting and Evoked Brain Activity in Humans Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Neuroscience.

El Khoury, H., Mitrofanis, J., & Henderson, L. A. (2019).

The Molecular Mechanisms of Action of Photobiomodulation Against Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Systematic Review - Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.

Bathini, M., Raghushaker, C. R., & Mahato, K. K. (2022).

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Parkinson’s Disease-Near-Infrared Photobiomodulation as a Potential Therapeutic Strategy - Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Foo, A. S. C., Soong, T. W., Yeo, T. T., & Lim, K.-L. (2020).

Photophysical Mechanisms of Photobiomodulation Therapy as Precision Medicine - Biomedicines.

Ann Liebert, William Capon, Vincent Pang, Damien Vila, Brian Bicknell, Craig McLachlan, Hosen Kiat. 

Modifiable Variables in Parkinsonism (MVP) Study - Laurie K Mischley

Why Light Therapy?

Light therapy is the non-thermal delivery of waves of light energy with a therapeutic benefit. SYMBYX’s medical-grade lasers are easy to use at home and ARTG listed/CE marked for reduction in Chronic Pain and Inflammation and symptoms associated with Parkinson's and Fibromyalgia