Red/near-infrared irradiation therapy for treatment of central nervous system injuries and disorders

Melinda Fitzgerald*, Stuart Hodgetts, Corinna Van Den Heuvel, Riccardo Natoli, Nathan S. Hart, Krisztina Valter, Alan R. Harvey, Robert Vink, Jan Provis, Sarah A. Dunlop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Irradiation in the red/near-infrared spectrum (R/NIR, 630 -1000 nm) has been used to treat a wide range of clinical conditions, including disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), with several clinical trials currently underway for stroke and macular degeneration. However, R/NIR irradiation therapy (R/NIR-IT) has not been widely adopted in clinical practice for CNS injury or disease for a number of reasons, which include the following. The mechanism/s of action and implications of penetration have not been thoroughly addressed. The large range of treatment intensities, wavelengths and devices that have been assessed make comparisons difficult, and a consensus paradigm for treatment has not yet emerged. Furthermore, the lack of consistent positive outcomes in randomised controlled trials, perhaps due to sub-optimal treatment regimens, has contributed to scepticism. This review provides a balanced précis of outcomes described in the literature regarding treatment modalities and efficacy of R/NIR-IT for injury and disease in the CNS. We have addressed the important issues of specification of treatment parameters, penetration of R/NIR irradiation to CNS tissues and mechanism/s, and provided the necessary detail to demonstrate the potential of R/NIR-IT for the treatment of retinal degeneration, damage to white matter tracts of the CNS, stroke and Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-226
Number of pages22
JournalReviews in the Neurosciences
Volume24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

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