Photo-Bio-Modulation (PBM) is one of the latest technologies arrived among the proposals for the treatment of the Central Nervous System. It is based on the use of red / NIR (near infrared red) light for the treatment of Central Nervous System by stimulating, preserving, and regenerating cells and tissues.
There are several indications of use:
― Post-stroke rehabilitation for all ages;
― ADHD and Attention Disorders;
― Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease;
― Early Cognitive Disorders;
― Vascular Depression;
― Major Depression;
― Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI);
― Prevention of cognitive decay.
Photo-Bio-Modulation is particularly suitable for children because of its practicality and freedom of movement.
La Photo-Bio-Modulation è particolarmente adatta per i bambini grazie alla sua praticità e alla libertà di movimento che offre. Furthermore, PBM also proves useful for increasing motor-sports performance.
Mechanism of action
Photo-Bio-Modulation (PBM) is not to be confused with Light Therapy; in fact, Photo-Bio-Modulation is equipped with infrared light (NIR) that penetrates the skull and increases blood flow in the brain, as indicated by MRI studies, thus stimulating brain metabolism, promoting neuroplasticity and modulating endogenous opioids, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
It also proves to have an effect on damaged brain cells, particularly on their mitochondria. The latter are subunits within the cell that emit energy in the form of a chemical called ATP. Photons of red light penetrate through the skull into the brain cells and stimulate the mitochondria to produce more ATP. Such stimulation of the mitochondria can induce clearer and sharper thinking, but it has been seen to improve not only attention but also energy.
The documented biological effects highlight a positive effect of reducing the glial scarring reaction, while improving the effect of the neuronal plasticity.
In practice, it has been observed that through the targeted administration of specific light frequencies, it is possible to modulate certain biological functions and accelerate the healing of a physical injury, reducing the effects of trauma or improving energy functioning. Lights of such frequency appear to restore vitality and energy that induce improved plasticity of many biological tissues including the skin and nervous system tissues, which is what interests us most.
The first major clinical application of Photo-Bio-Modulation occurred to accelerate tissue repair in post-ICTUS brain: it was observed that Photo-Bio-Modulation could improve nerve cell metabolism, promoting repair processes, while also accelerating and improving functional recovery.
Consequently, it was thought that low-level infrared light stimulation itself could facilitate a therapeutic response for the treatment of Major Depression by providing neurons with more energy to fight Depression through energetic activation of cytochrome c oxidase (COX). COX activation facilitates reversal of mitochondrial dysfunction and improved prefrontal blood flow, resulting in reduced oxidative stress and reduced stress-induced inflammatory phenomena by inducing changes in glucose metabolism. It is the sum of these energizing effects on the prefrontal cortex that is thought to clinically generate the antidepressant response. It thus improves the metabolic capacity of neurons through increased oxygen consumption and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) production.
Preliminary controlled laboratory studies are already being conducted on mice to better understand the anxiolytic and antidepressant mechanism of action: the results indicate that the effect likely derives from the link between the increase in serotonin and the decrease in oxide levels in areas of the prefrontal cortex, where the maximum anxiolytic and antidepressant effect was seen to be produced at the dose of 8 J/cm2.
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How does PBM work in practice?
The device's LED clusters, from which the infrared beams are emitted, are positioned to stimulate the central areas of the Default Mode Network, a vast circuit of brain structures implicated in many fundamental cognitive activities (i.e., thinking, memory, reasoning, comprehension). They are used to promote well-being and mental acuity by exploiting the frequency of stimulation.
Pulsations at 10 Hz correlate with Alpha oscillations of brain waves; this calming and therapeutic frequency is associated with improved cognitive recovery and has a positive effect during brain resting states.
Pulsations at 40 Hz correlate with Gamma oscillations of brain waves; this frequency is associated with states of maximum concentration and awareness.
The duration of the sessions is about 30 minutes and should be carried out for a minimum period of three weeks. During the application it is possible to conduct psychotherapy or coaching sessions. After the first therapeutic cycle, sessions should be periodically resumed with follow-up sessions.