Byrnes KR; Waynant RW; Ilev IK; Wu X; Barna L; Smith K; Heckert R; Gerst H; Anders JJ
Lasers in surgery and medicine; VOL: 36 (3); p. 171-85 /200503/
Background and Objectives: Photobiomodulation (PBM) has been proposed as a potential therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI). We aimed to demonstrate that 810 nm light can penetrate deep into the body and promote neuronal regeneration and functional recovery.
Methods: Adult rats underwent a T9 dorsal hemisection, followed by treatment with an 810 nm, 150 mW diode laser (dosage = 1,589 J/cm2). Axonal regeneration and functional recovery were assessed using single and double label tract tracing and various locomotor tasks. The immune response within the spinal cord was also assessed.
Results: PBM, with 6% power penetration to the spinal cord depth, significantly increased axonal number and distance of regrowth (P < 0.001). PBM also returned aspects of function to baseline levels and significantly suppressed immune cell activation and cytokine/chemokine expression.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that light, delivered transcutaneously, improves recovery after injury and suggests that light will be a useful treatment for human SCI. - CNOTE: Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc