Abstract Title:

Transcranial Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The ELATED-2 Pilot Trial.

Abstract Source:

Photomed Laser Surg. 2018 Oct 20. Epub 2018 Oct 20. PMID: 30346890

Abstract Author(s):

Paolo Cassano, Samuel R Petrie, David Mischoulon, Cristina Cusin, Husam Katnani, Albert Yeung, Luis De Taboada, Abigal Archibald, Eric Bui, Lee Baer, Trina Chang, Justin Chen, Paola Pedrelli, Lauren Fisher, Amy Farabaugh, Michael R Hamblin, Jonathan E Alpert, Maurizio Fava, Dan V Iosifescu

Article Affiliation:

Paolo Cassano


OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to test the antidepressant effect of transcranial photobiomodulation (t-PBM) with near-infrared (NIR) light in subjects suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD).

BACKGROUND: t-PBM with NIR light is a new treatment for MDD. NIR light is absorbed by mitochondria; it boosts cerebral metabolism, promotes neuroplasticity, and modulates endogenous opioids, while decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, sham-controlled study on the safety and efficacy (change in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [HAM-D] total score at end-point) of adjunct t-PBM NIR [823 nm; continuous wave (CW); 28.7 × 2 cm; 36.2 mW/cm; up to 65.2 J/cm; 20-30 min/session], delivered to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, bilaterally and simultaneously, twice a week, for 8 weeks, in subjects with MDD. Baseline observation carried forward (BOCF), last observation carried forward (LOCF), and completers analyses were performed.

RESULTS: The effect size for the antidepressant effect of t-PBM, based on change in HAM-Dtotal score at end-point, was 0.90, 0.75, and 1.5 (Cohen's d), respectively for BOCF (n = 21), LOCF (n = 19), and completers (n = 13). Further, t-PBM was fairly well tolerated, with no serious adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS: t-PBM with NIR light demonstrated antidepressant properties with a medium to large effect size in patients with MDD. Replication is warranted, especially in consideration of the small sample size.

Study Type : Human Study

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