Is Transcranial Photobiomodulation Effective For Depression
To determine the likelihood that transcranial photobiomodulation is an effective treatment for major depression, it is necessary to examine the strength of evidence in the literature. Most evidence from published studies is weak based on the fact that the studies utilized: suboptimal designs , small sample sizes , and/or suboptimal methods. As was already mentioned, even among the trials that were controlled with a sham, many question as to whether the sham wouldve been convincing enough to serve as a viable placebo control.
Despite serious limitations in the research, it is necessary to acknowledge that nearly all studies investigating the effect of transcranial photobiomodulation on mood reported statistically significant antidepressant responses. Zero studies have documented ineffectiveness of transcranial photobiomodulation as a treatment for depression, nor have they documented a worsening of mood following administration. A review of evidence by Cassano, Petrie, Hamblin, et al. suggested that transcranial photobiomodulation is effective for the treatment of major depression, anxiety disorders, suicidality, and TBI.
Psychological Benefits Of A Single Nir Anxiety Treatment
A pilot study was conducted on 10 patients. Out of this number, all the patients suffered from major depression, while 9 of them also suffered from anxiety and 7 had a history with substance abuse.
The study showed that, after two weeks of treatment, 6 out of 10 patients showed improvement with their depression while 7 out of 10 had reduced anxiety.
Here is how the study was conducted and how the results were measured.
To determine the effects of the NIR, the researchers relied on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale , Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and a Positive and Negative Affect Scale . PANAS determines a persons positive and negative affect and how a person feels at any given moment.
The subjects completed the PANAS and then underwent 4-minute treatments with NIR. After treatment, they repeated PANAS and did the same after 2 and 4 weeks.
After two weeks, 6 patients showed better results on HAM-D, and as many as 7 scored better on HAM-A. Even immediately after the treatment, PANAS scored better with most of the subjects. There were no side effects observed.
These two studies show that red light therapy looks like a promising new, drug-free treatment for both anxiety and depression. There are many more studies and even individual cases that lead to the same conclusion.
How Does Rlt Work
When you expose the body to Red light therapy, it absorbs wavelengths of natural red and near infrared light. These are the wavelengths that you would get from the sunlight, but without the potentially harmful UV rays.
Natural sunlight stimulates the mitochondria in your cells promoting energy production and so does RLT.
RLT basically acts as a replacement for the sunlight that you can not get naturally due to your personal circumstances. These possibly include excess time indoors, excessive exposure to artificial light late in the day, or prolonged periods of bad weather.
When RLT is shined on a persons head, the wavelengths can go beyond the surface of the skin, and reach the brain which affects the cells directly. This light is absorbed by the mitochondria, which boosts cerebral metabolism, improves neuroplasticity, increases oxygen consumption and decreases inflammation , .
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Restful Sleep With Red Light Therapy
One the most noticeable benefits people report from red light therapy sessions is a great nights sleep. Red light therapy has also been found to work wonders for the treatment of sleep disorders.
Artificial light comes with risk, especially the insanely bright blue lights that shine out of your TVs, tablets, and anything with a screen. Excess blue light can throw off your circadian rhythm and give you sleep problems. Wearing blue blockers like TrueDark glasseswhen using bright devices and when in buildings that use a lot of fluorescent lighting can mitigate some of the effects of the more harmful blue wavelengths.
Red light therapy is natural light with a much lower color temperature than blue light. Where blue light upsets your circadian rhythm and can make it harder to sleep, natural red and near-infrared light helps adjust and reset your sleep cycle.
Melatonin plays a big role in our natural sleep cycle too. Some people swear by taking melatonin supplements, which work well. Red light therapy has been shown to naturally increase melatonin in studies too. Its always a good idea to give your body the raw material and the conditions to produce what you need. Natural light treatments are a great reset to your sleep situation.
Improved Blood Flow To The Brain
One reason why red light therapy is so effective for healing and addressing skin conditions is the fact that it can improve blood flow to the targeted area. Red light therapy devices can also help to improve blood flow to the brain.
Some experts have hypothesized that depression stems from a lack of blood flow to the brain. A lack of blood causes a lack of oxygen and nutrients while also impairing normal tissue function.
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Tpbm Reduced Fear Renewal
“Many investigators believe that PBM for brain disorders will become one of the most important medical applications of light therapy in the coming years and decades. Despite the efforts of Big Pharma, prescription drugs for psychiatric disorders are not generally regarded very highly , and many of these drugs perform little better than placebos in different trials, and moreover can also have major side-effects
Researchers have also found wonderful effects when exposing red and near-infrared light to the brain. The research states “they found that tPBM reduced fear renewal and prevented the reemergence of extinguished conditioned fear responses . This is quite remarkable for those battling PTSD and other post traumatic disorders.
Several studies have indicated that people with depression have abnormal blood flow in the frontal cortex of the brain, Since red/NIR light improve blood flow and circulation to the brain, it is reasonable to believe that could be part of the mechanism at play .
Table 2 shows the wide range of brain disorders and diseases that will eventually be treated by some kind of tPBM, whether that be an office/clinic based procedure or a home-use based device . This is one of the many reasons why red light therapy is becoming so popular, because it offers a non-invasive form of neuro-therapy that has demonstrated little to no side effects.
What Are The Risks Of Led Light Therapy
LED light therapy is a safe, relatively risk-free treatment. If youre thinking about buying an at-home mask or device, be sure its marked FDA cleared or FDA approved. Also, wear eye protection, such as sunglasses or goggles, and carefully follow instructions to confirm youre using the device correctly.
Its rare to experience side effects from LED light therapy. If side effects do occur, they may include:
- Increased inflammation.
Experts do caution that while LED light therapy seems to be safe in the short term, theres less information about its long-term safety.
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What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern. Usually, the darker, colder fall and winter months are when people are most affected, but some people experience seasonal depression in the spring and summer as well.
Millions of people are affected by SAD every year, including at least 5% of adults in the United States. Even if you dont have a diagnosis of depression, lack of access to natural light can be a big hurdle to optimal mental and physical health.
Benefits Of Red Light Therapy For Depression
At first, it might seem strange that red light therapy, a treatment regularly recommended for external conditions, could have an impact on the chemical imbalances in someones brain.
In reality, though, there are quite a few ways that red light therapy can support mood improvements and lessen symptoms of depression, including the following:
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How Does Light Therapy Work
Light therapy is fairly straightforward. You sit in front of a special light box or visor, designed for light therapy, for a set amount of time each day. To avoid damage, the light should shine into your eyes indirectly, not directly. The light boxes intended for light therapy emit strong light that mimics outdoor light, but without the harmful UV rays.
Typically, patients use a light box with a light intensity measuring 10,000 lux, positioned between 16 to 24 inches away from the face. At this intensity, sessions may only last 20 to 40 minutes, with longer sessions proving more beneficial. If using a lower-intensity device, such as 2,500 lux, the session may be as long as 2 hours.
When used consistently and as recommended by a doctor, exposure to this light helps reset your circadian rhythm the technical term for your body clock. As a result, individuals undergoing light therapy are better able to fall asleep earlier at night, or sleep in later in the morning, depending on what they need.
Try Light Therapy To Tackle Depression
This is a treatment for many conditions like depression, anxiety, antepartum depression, and sleep disorders that uses exposure to specific lights. Also called phototherapy and heliotherapy, this generally involves daylight, amber light, and therapeutic lights.
Light therapy offers modest though promising antidepressant efficacy. This is especially true when administered during the first week of treatment and in the morning. More so if it is administered as an adjunctive treatment. The efficacy of bright light therapy is well established for seasonal depression in the winter.
Here are some light therapy devices you can use to treat your depression:
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Led Colors Light Therapy Lamp
Collagen has been shown to help with energy levels, mood and appetite. The red Led Colors Light Therapy Lamp has 169 LEDs. It is specifically built with a wavelength of 650 nm to boost collagen production.
When collagen is abundant, the body works seamlessly to rejuvenate the skin, tissues and joints. This leads to a night of truly restorative sleep. This device is easy to use. You just plug in the power and put on the free goggles. Use the remote control to choose the time you like.
Red Light Therapy: A Natural Way To Help With Seasonal Affective Disorder
Many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder during the winter, especially during the holidays.
Seasonal effective disorder is a type of depression that occurs and ends around the same time every year. Seasonal affective disorder, for many, occurs in the fall and winter with the arrival of cold weather. If youve felt down around this time of year, youre not alone. On average about 5% of the U.S. population, roughly 16.4 million people, suffer from seasonal affective disorder every year.
Why is it that people feel depressed in the fall and winter? A major factor is the lack of exposure to natural light. Exposure to natural light plays a big part in our mood. Light is an essential ingredient for human health, but is often overlooked as being a key contributor to our health and well-being.
So how can you increase your exposure to natural light and ultimately help with seasonal affective disorder? Our answer is red light therapy!
Red light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers concentrated natural light to your skin and cells. Red light therapy has been clinically-proven to help significantly reduce the effects of seasonal affective disorder with just two 10-minute sessions each week over the course of 8 weeks.
How exactly does red light therapy work to cure seasonal affective disorder?
Proven clinical research to help with depression
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Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Some people experience insomnia due to an underlying circadian rhythm sleep disorder. These sleep disorders can develop naturally, as in the case of extreme night owls, or they can be brought on by working an overnight schedule. Even jet lag is technically a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Light therapy is one of the primary treatments for these disorders.
What Vitamin Helps With Seasonal Depression
Someone who is experiencing seasonal depression may benefit from a doctors recommendation to get more of the suns rays. After exposure to the sun, the body is able to produce the vitamins D and E. During the fall and winter months when there isnt a lot of sunlight, its a good idea to supplement your diet with vitamins D and calcium.
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Red Light Therapy And Seasonal Affective Disorder
Emerging clinical research is showing potential for red light therapy to treat seasonal affective disorder and other forms of major depression. This post examines this initial research and breaks down the connections between mood disorders, natural light intake, and sleep.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder ?
Seasonal affective disorder is classified as a type of major depression with a seasonal pattern. SAD typically impacts people the most in the fall and winter months, when its colder and theres less natural light. SAD affects millions, including at least 5% of adults in the United States.
Current treatments for SAD are similar to treatments for other forms of clinical depression, including psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. Some people with SAD try lamps that shine bright artificial light, which is meant to mimic the sun and decrease darkness in the home and workplace. Emerging clinical research is also showing potential for treating SAD and depression with natural light treatments, like red and near infrared light therapy.
Our Natural Light Problem
People who have not been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder can be negatively affected by a lack of natural light too. For example, lack of natural light exposure in the workplace has been shown to result in higher levels of cortisol and lower levels of nighttime melatonin, which are associated with depression symptoms and poor sleep quality.
How To Do Light Therapy At Home
Before you start light therapy, its a good idea to talk with a doctor or mental health professional. Light therapy may interact with other treatments youre currently taking, such as medications.
Once youve had a doctors sign off, you can start by reading the instructions provided by the light box manufacturer.
A light with lower intensity may require longer exposure time meaning youll have to sit in front of the box longer. The instructions can also help you identify specific risks and hazards for the brand of the light.
To use a light therapy lamp with 10,000 lux intensity, follow these steps:
You can adjust this schedule and the duration of sessions according to how you feel. You can also try passing the time in front of the light box with an activity like reading a book or working, as long as youre still facing the light.
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How To Use Red Light Therapy For Anxiety
In order to get the benefits from red light therapy, it is not necessary to place the device on the head. There is evidence that a systemic and holistic approach to RLT treatments also can be effective in reducing anxiety.
In other words, it is possible to treat one area of the body with red light therapy and experience the benefits through your body and mind as a whole due to remote tissue conditioning, if you treat your gut with NIR and RLT, you may experience mood improvements and alleviation of anxiety and depression symptoms.
How does that happen?
One of the possible explanations is that there are fully functional mitochondria circulating in our bloodstream. These mitochondria are not inside any of cells, but freely circulate our bodies. With that in mind, it is not difficult to imagine that such mitochondria could transfer energy they receive in one area, to a remote location in the body.
How Do You Use An At
There are several at-home devices from masks to wands to other hand-held products. Instructions vary based on the device you buy.
For example, you might wear some LED masks on your face for a few minutes each day. You can sit upright or lie down with these. With hand-held devices, you might hold the tool 6 to 12 inches from your face for 10 minutes.
Whatever device you choose, be sure to follow the directions carefully.
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What Is Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is a unique treatment modality most commonly used for skin conditions like eczema, scars, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. In recent years, though, researchers have found that it may also offer some benefits for those struggling with mood disorders like depression.
Red light therapy uses red, low-level light wavelengths. These light wavelengths penetrate the skin and strengthen the mitochondria, which is responsible for generating the majority of the cells adenosine triphosphate supply. ATP is a primary source of chemical energy for the body.
A Deeper Look Into How Red Light Therapy Can Help Improve Your Mental Health
Red light therapy can impart beneficial effects on the brain by stimulating the mitochondria, which are the part of the bodys cells that produce energy. Simulating the mitochondria with concentrated red and near-infrared light provides an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body and increases circulation. Red light therapy also supports metabolic activity to optimize the chemical reactions occurring within your brain cells and the rest of your body. When applied to your brain, red light therapy can enhance metabolic capacity to improve the brain cells ability to take in oxygen. The therapy can also boost antioxidant response to the free radicals that can damage your brain cells.
Red light penetrates deeper into the skin than other kinds of light, and this deep penetration makes it easier for cells inside the body to absorb the light. Scientists also refer to red light therapy as photobiomodulation therapy because of the way red light influences the function of body cells. To harness the power of red light and direct PBMT to specific parts of the body, health professionals have created red light beds and targeted deep tissue laser therapy systems.
The effects of red light therapy can improve physical health problems, but it can also address mental health issues, such as depression. Furthermore, PBMT can support healthy cognitive function to help you think more clearly. Feeling better and thinking more clearly is a great start to improving your mental health.
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