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  • Dr Ashleigh Bhanjan

The Brain And Mental Health Benefits of Low-Level Laser Therapy

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-powered lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate cellular function and promote healing.


While LLLT is commonly used to treat physical injuries, such as muscle strains and joint pain, recent research has shown that it can also have significant benefits for brain health and mental wellness.




 

Benefits of LLLT on the Brain

  1. Relaxation : LLLT therapy can promote relaxation, which may be particularly beneficial for patients with anxiety who may have difficulty relaxing and calming their mind.

  2. Positive mood effects : LLLT therapy has been shown to have a positive effect on mood, which may help to reduce anxiety symptoms

  3. Improved cognitive function : LLLT has been found to improve cognitive function, including memory and learning ability

  4. Reduced inflammation : LLLT has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation, which is associated with a range of brain disorders, including depression and anxiety

  5. Treatment for brain injury : LLLT has been found to be a possible treatment for brain injury, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)



 

Latest Clinical Research

Recent clinical research has shown that LLLT can be an effective treatment for a range of brain disorders, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Alzheimer's, and dementia.


For example, a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that LLLT was effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with major depressive disorder.





Another study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that LLLT improved cognitive function and reduced symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in patients with mild to moderate dementia.

 

How does LLLT compare to other treatments for mental health issues ?

LLLT has been found to be a potential treatment for various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease.


The following are some ways in which LLLT compares to other treatments for mental health issues


Compared to medication

LLLT is a non-invasive treatment that does not require medication, which can have side effects and may not be effective for everyone. LLLT has been found to be a safe and effective alternative to medication for treating depression and anxiety


Compared to psychotherapy

LLLT is a physical treatment that does not involve talking therapy. While psychotherapy can be effective for some patients, others may prefer a non-verbal treatment option. LLLT has been found to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety, which are often treated with psychotherapy


Compared to other physical treatments

LLLT has been found to be more effective than other physical treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), for treating depression and anxiety2. LLLT has also been found to be a possible treatment for brain injury, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), which may not be treatable with other physical treatments.




 

How long does it typically take for LLLT to show results in treating depression ?


The timeframe for LLLT to show results in treating depression can vary from person to person. While there is limited research specifically addressing the duration of LLLT treatment for depression, some studies have shown positive outcomes within a few weeks of treatment


For example, a study conducted in 2009 involved 10 patients with a history of major depression and anxiety. These patients received LLLT treatment on their foreheads for four weeks. At the end of the study, six of the 10 patients experienced a remission of their depression, and seven of the 10 patients experienced a remission of their anxiety


It is important to note that individual responses to LLLT may vary, and the duration of treatment may depend on various factors, including the severity of depression, the frequency and duration of LLLT sessions, and the specific protocol used.


Some individuals may experience improvements in mood and depressive symptoms earlier in the treatment process, while others may require longer periods of treatment to see significant changes.


It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional who specializes in LLLT or mental health to determine the most appropriate treatment plan and duration for each individual.
They can provide personalized guidance based on the specific needs and circumstances of the person seeking treatment for depression.
PBMT is not currently FDA approved for the treatment of mental health disorders, despite the convincing evidence of its efficacy in clinical trials

 

References


 








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