Photobiomodulation therapy for repeated closed head injury in rats

J Biophotonics. 2020 Feb;13(2):e201960117. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201960117. Epub 2019 Nov 25.


Repeated traumatic brain injury, leads to cumulative neuronal injury and neurological impairments. There are currently no effective treatments to prevent these consequences. Growing interest is building in the use of transcranial photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy to treat traumatic brain injury. Here, we examined PBM in a repeated closed head injury (rCHI) rat model. Rats were administered a total of three closed head injuries, with each injury separated by 5 days. PBM treatment was initiated 2 hours after the first injury and administered daily for a total of 15 days. We found that PBM-treated rCHI rats had a significant reduction in motor ability, anxiety and cognitive deficits compared to CHI group. PBM group showed an increase of synaptic proteins and surviving neurons, along with a reduction in reactive gliosis and neuronal injury. These findings highlight the complexity of gliosis and neuronal injury following rCHI and suggest that PBM may be a viable treatment option to mitigate these effects and their detrimental consequences.

Keywords: gliosis; neuronal death; photobiomodulation; repeated closed head injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / therapy
  • Cognitive Dysfunction*
  • Head Injuries, Closed*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Neurons
  • Rats