"Buckets": Early Observations on the Use of Red and Infrared Light Helmets in Parkinson's Disease Patients

Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2019 Oct;37(10):615-622. doi: 10.1089/photob.2019.4663. Epub 2019 Sep 19.


Background: Parkinson's disease is a well-known neurological disorder with distinct motor signs and non-motor symptoms. Objective: We report on six patients with Parkinson's disease that used in-house built photobiomodulation (PBM) helmets. Methods: We used "buckets" lined with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) of wavelengths across the red to near-infrared range (i.e., 670, 810, and 850 nm; n = 5) or an homemade intranasal LED device (660 nm; n = 1). Progress was assessed by the patients themselves, their spouse, or their attending medical practitioners. Results: We found that 55% of the initial signs and symptoms of the six patients showed overall improvement, whereas 43% stayed the same and only 2% got worse. We also found that PBM did not target a specific sign or symptom, with both motor and nonmotor ones being affected, depending on the patient. Conclusions: In summary, our early observations are the first to note the impact of PBM on patients' signs and symptoms over an extended period, up to 24 months, and lays the groundwork for further development to clinical trial.

Keywords: 670 nm; 810 nm; LED helmet; Parkinson's disease; photobiomodulation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / radiation effects
  • Equipment Design
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays / therapeutic use
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / radiotherapy*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sampling Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome