Monday, December 28, 2009

Latest Cold Laser Research

Two new clinical studies show Low Level Laser Therapy may be effective for major depression and reducing fat.

1) Major Depression

A recent study reported in Behavioral and Brain Functions by respected Harvard researchers has revealed some startling findings regarding the treatment of depression and substance abuse. Many previous studies have reported beneficial effects from the application of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on neurological function and have reported beneficial effects applying it to the brain in stroke patients. The researchers gave numerous standard psychological tests to 10 patients, with  major depression (including 9 with anxiety, 7 with a past history of substance abuse, and 3 with post-traumatic stress disorder).

Subjects were then given four 4-minute treatments, placing the 810 nm cluster probe, the same wavelength as used in our office, on both sides of the forehead.  Lab tests, brain spectroscopy and psychological tests were given after treatment.  

70% of the patients experienced highly significant reductions in their symptoms following treatment, with the greatest reductions occurring at 2 weeks. There were no observed side effects. These eminent researchers have proposed that LLLT may be an effective treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders. These findings are applicable to low level lasers like the one used in our office.  They do not apply to "hot" lasers, which have many more risks, especially close to the eyes. (2009, 5:46, 8 December 2009) 

2) Fat Reduction

In the field of plastic surgery, it is well known that hot laser liposuction can reduce fat in unwanted places.  However, newer research is showing that LLLT may also be helpful.  In this study they noted that electron microscopic images demonstrated the formation of small holes in fat cells subsequent to laser irradiation. They did a double-blind, placebo-controlled,  2-week LLLT trial and included sixty-seven volunteers between the ages of 18-65.  

The study added up the decrease in the combined circumferences of participants 4 body parts, the waist, hips, and thighs. The treatment group experienced a total loss of 3.51 inches, or about 1 inch for each of the four body parts. These data suggest that low-level laser therapy can reduce overall circumference measurements of fatty regions. (Lasers Surg Med.;41(10):799-809)

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