HealthResJ, health, medicine, nursing, research

Quantitative EEG as outcome measure of the therapeutic effects of transcranial pho-tobiomodulation: A systematic review

Published: Ιαν 16, 2023
Photobiomodulation therapy low-level light therapy electroencephalogram brain oscillations cognitive impairment brain function
Eleni Magkouti
Nikos Leventakis
Anna Alexandropoulou
Akylina Despoti
Serafim Nanas

Background: Transcranial Photobiomodulation (t-PBM) is a current, innovative method that is used in the therapy of many neurological and psychological diseases. Its mechanisms of action have been investigated and the most well described ways of action are its effects on mitochondrial function and on heat/light-activated ion channels on neurons membrane. It has been suggested that the increase in cerebral blood flow and the alterations of membrane ion channels are the most dominant potential mechanisms that cause the effects of PBM on quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG), that some recent studies have reported.

Aim: The aim of this review is to describe the effects that t-PBM has on brain oscillations, as these are measured by qEEG.

Methods: The research was carried out in the Pubmed database and it included all studies that had been published until February 2022.

Results: Overall, sixty-eight studies were located and considered, searching with the terms Photobiomodulation or Light Therapy or Near Infrared Light and EEG. Only eleven of them used Photobiomodulation in order to observe the effect it can have on human brain oscillations, measured by qEEG. Two studies reported the EEG alterations after t-PBM application on the hand instead of the head. Thus, nine studies were included in the review, which applied t-PBM and observed the alterations that it brought upon qEEG of healthy adults or patients with memory problems.

Conclusion: The studies showed that t-PBM increases high frequency neural activity and inhibits low frequency oscillations. The studies varied a lot in the ways of light application and the parameters of the light itself, as well as on their study population.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Systemic Review
Download data is not yet available.
de Freitas LF, Hamblin MR. Proposed mechanisms of pho-tobiomodulation or low-level light therapy. IEEE J Sel Top Quantum Electron. 2016;22(3):348–364.
Gao X, Xing D. Molecular mechanisms of cell proliferation induced by low power laser irradiation. J Biomed Sci. 2009;16(1):4
Hamblin MR. The role of nitric oxide in low level light ther-apy. Biomedical Optics (BiOS) Vol. 6846. International So-ciety for Optics and Photonics. 2008; pp. 684602–1
Hamblin MR, Demidova TN. Mechanisms of low level light therapy. Biomed Opt. 61001. Vol. 6140. International Soci-ety for Optics and Photonics; 2006; pp. 1–12
Yang W-Z, Chen J-Y, Yu J-T, Zhou L-W. Effects of low pow-er laser irradiation on intracellular calcium and histamine release in RBL-2H3 mast cells. Photochem. Photobiol. 2007;83(4):979–984.
Salgado AS, Zângaro RA, Parreira RB, Kerppers II. The ef-fects of transcranial LED therapy (TCLT) on cerebral blood flow in the elderly women. J Lasers Med Sci. 2015;30(1):339–346.
Nawashiro H, Wada K, Nakai K, Sato S. Focal increase in cerebral blood flow after treatment with near-infrared light to the forehead in a patient in a persistent vegetative state. Photomed Laser Surg. 2012;30(4):231–233
Li-Chern Pan, Nguyen-Le-Thanh Hang, Colley M, Chang J, Hsiao Y-C, Lu L-S et al. Single Cell Effects of Photobiomod-ulation on Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Reac-tive Oxygen Species Production in Human Adipose Mes-enchymal Stem Cells, Cells. 2022 Mar; 11(6): 972.
Quirk B J, Torbey M, Buchmann E, Verma S, Whelan H T. Near-infrared photobiomodulation in an animal model of traumatic brain injury: improvements at the behavioral and biochemical levels. Photomed Laser Surg, 2012 Sep;30(9):523-9
Dos Santos Cardoso F, Borini Mansur F C, Silva Araújo B H, Gonzalez-Lima F, Gomes da Silva S. Photobiomodulation Improves the Inflammatory Response and Intracellular Sig-naling Proteins Linked to Vascular Function and Cell Sur-vival in the Brain of Aged Rats. Mol Neurobiol. 2022 Jan;59(1):420-428
Janzedah A, Nasirinezhad F, Masoumipoor M, Behnameldin Jameie S, Hayat P. Photobiomodulation therapy reduces apoptotic factors and increases glutathione levels in a neu-ropathic pain model. Lasers Med Sci 31(9):1863-1869
Yang X, Askarova S, Sheng W, Chen J K, Sun A Y, Sun G Y et al. Low energy laser light (632.8nm) suppresses amyloid-beta peptide-induced oxidative and inflammatory respons-es in astrocytes. Biophys J 100(3):624a
Karu T., Kolyakov S., Exact action spera for cellular re-sponses relevant to phototherapy. Photomed Laser Ther 23(4):355-361
Vargas E, Barrett D W, Saucedo C L, Huang L-D, Abraham J A, Tanaka Het al., Beneficial neurocognitive effects of tran-scranial laser in older adults. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Jul;32(5):1153-1162
Jahan A, Ali Nazari M, Mahmoudi J, Salehpour F, Moghadam Salimi M, Transcranial near-infrared Photobi-omodulation could modulate brain electrophysiological features and attentional performance in healthy young adults. Lasers Med Sci, 2019;34(6):1193-1200
Wang X, Dmochowski J P, Zeng L, Kallioniemi E, Husain M, Gonzalez-Lima F et al. Transcranial Photobiomodulaton with 1064nm laser modulates brain electroencephalogram rythms. Neurophotonics. 2019;6(2):025013
Wang X, Wanniarachchi H, Wu A, Gonzalez-Lima F, Liu H. Transcranial Photobiomodulation and thermal stimulation induce distinct topographies of EEG alpha and beta power changes in healthy humans. Sci Rep. 2021;11(1):18917
Zomorrodi R, Loheswaran G, Pushparaj A, Lim L. Pulsed near-infrared transcranial and intranasal Photobiomodula-tion significantly modulates neural oscillations: a pilot ex-ploratory study. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):6309
Vincenza S, Sitnikova T, Ward M J, Farzam P, Hughes J, Gazecki S et al. Pilot Study on dose-dependent effects of transcranial Photobiomodulation on brain electrical oscil-lations: a potential therapeutic target in Alzheimer’s dis-ease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021;83(4):1481-1498
Berman M, Halper J P, Nichols T W, Jarrett H, Lundy A, Huang J H. Photobiomodulation with near-infrared light helmet in a pilot, placebo controlled clinical trial in demen-tia patients testing memory and cognition. J Neurol Neuro-sci 2017;8(1):176
Grover F, Weston J, Weston M. Acute effects of near-infrared light therapy on brain state in healthy subjects as a quantified by Qeeg measures. Photomed Laser Surg. 2017;35(3):136-141
Ghaderi A H, Jahan A, Akrami F, Moghadam Salimi M. Transcranial Photobiomodulation changes topolog syn-chronizability and complexity of resting state brain net-works. J Neural Eng. 2021;18(4)
Salehpour F, Mahmoudi J, Kamari F, Sadigh-Eteghad S, Rasta S H, Hamblin M R. Brain Photobiomodulation Thera-py: A Narrative Review. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Aug; 55(8): 6601–6636.
Most read articles by the same author(s)