Near infrared transcranial laser therapy applied at various modes to mice following traumatic brain injury significantly reduces long-term neurological deficits

J Neurotrauma. 2012 Jan 20;29(2):401-7. doi: 10.1089/neu.2011.2062. Epub 2012 Jan 4.


Near-infrared transcranial laser therapy (TLT) has been found to modulate various biological processes including traumatic brain injury (TBI). Following TBI in mice, in this study we assessed the possibility of various near-infrared TLT modes (pulsed versus continuous) in producing a beneficial effect on the long-term neurobehavioral outcome and brain lesions of these mice. TBI was induced by a weight-drop device, and neurobehavioral function was assessed from 1 h to 56 days post-trauma using the Neurological Severity Score (NSS). The extent of recovery is expressed as the difference in NSS (dNSS), the difference between the initial score and that at any other later time point. An 808-nm Ga-Al-As diode laser was employed transcranially 4, 6, or 8 h post-trauma to illuminate the entire cortex of the brain. Mice were divided into several groups of 6-8 mice: one control group that received a sham treatment and experimental groups that received either TLT continuous wave (CW) or pulsed wave (PW) mode transcranially. MRI was taken prior to sacrifice at 56 days post-injury. From 5-28 days post-TBI, the NSS of the laser-treated mice were significantly lower (p<0.05) than those of the non-laser-treated control mice. The percentage of surviving mice that demonstrated full recovery at 56 days post-CHI (NSS=0, as in intact mice) was the highest (63%) in the group that had received TLT in the PW mode at 100 Hz. In addition, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis demonstrated significantly smaller infarct lesion volumes in laser-treated mice compared to controls. Our data suggest that non-invasive TLT of mice post-TBI provides a significant long-term functional neurological benefit, and that the pulsed laser mode at 100 Hz is the preferred mode for such treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Infrared Rays / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*