Michael R. Hamblin, Ph.D. is a Principal Investigator at Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Associate Professor Harvard Medical School. We have followed his work for a number of years as he has interests in photodynamic therapy and photobiomodulation and has published 422 peer-reviewed articles, is Editor in Chief of “Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery” and Associate Editor for 10 journals. Dr. Hamblin has an h-factor 93 and >33,000 citations and has authored/edited 23 textbooks on PDT and photomedicine including SPIE proceedings. Dr Hamblin was elected as a Fellow of SPIE in 2011, received 1st Endre Mester Lifetime Achievement Award Photomedicine from NAALT in 2017, Outstanding Career Award from Dose Response Society and 1st Ali Javan Award for Basic Research from WALT in 2018. Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders by Michael R. Hamblin was published online 2016 Oct 1. 

Abstract: Photobiomodulation (PBM) describes the use of red or near-infrared light to stimulate, heal, regenerate, and protect tissue that has either been injured, is degenerating, or else is at risk of dying. One of the organ systems of the human body that is most necessary to life, and whose optimum functioning is most worried about by humankind in general, is the brain. 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. There is even the possibility that PBM could be used for cognitive enhancement in normal healthy people. In this transcranial PBM (tPBM) application, near-infrared (NIR) light is often applied to the forehead because of the better penetration (no hair, longer wavelength). Some workers have used lasers, but recently the introduction of inexpensive light-emitting diode (LED) arrays has allowed the development of light-emitting helmets or “brain caps”. This review will cover the mechanisms of action of photobiomodulation to the brain, and summarize some of the key pre-clinical studies and clinical trials that have been undertaken for diverse brain disorders…. Read More