Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a growing health concern affecting civilians and military personnel. Near-infrared (NIR) light has shown benefits in animal models and human trials for stroke and in animal models for TBI. Diodes emitting low-level NIR often have lacked therapeutic efficacy, perhaps failing to deliver sufficient radiant energy to the necessary depth. In this case report, a patient with moderate TBI documented in anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) received 20 NIR treatments in the course of 2 mo using a high-power NIR laser. Symptoms were monitored by clinical examination and a novel patient diary system specifically designed for this patient population. Clinical application of these levels of infrared energy for this patient with TBI yielded highly favorable outcomes with decreased depression, anxiety, headache, and insomnia, whereas cognition and quality of life improved. Neurological function appeared to improve based on changes in the SPECT by quantitative analysis. NIR in the power range of 10-15 W at 810 and 980 nm can safely and effectively treat chronic symptoms of TBI.
Henderson TA, Morries LD. SPECT Perfusion Imaging Demonstrates Improvement of Traumatic Brain Injury With Transcranial Near-infrared Laser Phototherapy. Adv Mind Body Med. 2015 Fall;29(4):27-33. PMID: 26535475.