Low-Level Light Therapy: Photobiomodulation takes the spotlight

At the 2015 American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS) conference (April 22-26, Kissimmee, FL), clinical scientists discussed the use of photobiomodulation (a.k.a. low-level laser/light therapy) to reduce lymphedema; treat melasma; prevent photodamage; manage neuropathic and back pain; and improve functional fitness in the elderly and muscular endurance.

"Animal studies demonstrated that light can be used to influence autonomic activity and manage hypertension. These studies further our understanding of the broad range of influences that light has on biological systems and provides more evidence that light can be used in a way that is similar to the use of drugs to treat disease and prevent injury," says Raymond J. Lanzafame, MD, MBA, who, with Gerald R. Ross, DDS, co-directed conference sessions on photobiomodulation. According to Ross, pharmacology has shown limited results in treating neuropathic pain, which is common among aging populations-whereas light therapies have proven effective with no such negative side effects.

The NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine (MeSH) plans to adopt "photobiomodulation therapy" as an official MeSH term in November 2015.

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