The peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Psychiatry publishes study, authored by Dr. Theodore Henderson, in which a non-invasive treatment using a unique, high-powered multi-Watt near-infrared light effectively helped 82% of patients remain depression-free
DENVER, Colo. (October 2, 2017) — A unique, high-powered, multi-Watt near-infrared light (NILT) can penetrate the scalp and skull, reaching the brain to reenergize damaged brain cells and effectively treat depression, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, and co-authored by Denver-based psychiatrist Theodore Henderson, M.D., Ph.D and Dr. Larry Morries.
The non-invasive “neuro-laser” is applied transcranially, and believed to rejuvenate damaged brain cells, improving brain metabolism, while reducing inflammation, oxidative stress and neurodegeneration — without any side effects. Co-Founders of Neuro-Laser Foundation, Dr. Henderson and Dr. Morries, have published five additional studies supporting the effectiveness of this treatment, particularly on patients with a traumatic brain injury.
The observational study, “Multi-Watt Near-Infrared Phototherapy for the Treatment of Comorbid Depression: An Open Label Single-Arm Study,” followed 39 patients who had both traumatic brain injury (TBI) and depression. Within four to eight treatments, 12 reported significant improvement of depressive symptoms. Fully 92 percent of the patients experienced significant reduction in depression symptoms. A staggering 82 percent report being in remission – no longer having the symptoms of depression – after treatment over 4-12 weeks.
“Although we were treating these patients for TBI, it was easy to see these patients went from being quite depressed to ‘un-depressed’ in a matter of four to six weeks,” said Dr. Henderson who added there is only one of these high-powered, multi-Watt near-infrared light devices available in the world. “This is the first large sample study of its kind. There are no side effects, and the best part is that most patients have remained depression-free for months to years after this treatment.”
Patients receiving the NILT treatment sit or lay comfortably during a series of 20-35 minute sessions in which the neuro-laser is applied by trained medical professionals. There is no skin irritation, pain, or unpleasant feelings. Best of all, there are no side effects, which have always been the downside of antidepressant medication including weight gain, drowsiness, even erectile dysfunction.
“No side effects and many of the patients have remained depression-free for years since treatment,” said Dr. Morries who collected the data, and supervised the NILT treatments with patients. “These benefits are much greater, and the patients have persistent benefits with the multi-Watt laser, unlike what is reported for the low-Watt infrared devices commonly found in the market.”
Dr. Henderson added, “These new data raises an intriguing possibility – that this treatment may be a safe, effective, and rapid treatment for depression, whether co-morbid with TBI or primary, Major Depressive Disorder.”
Dr. Morries cautioned that a double-blind, placebo controlled trial is warranted to verify these results before the device and method will be more widely available. A “Say Goodbye TBI” fundraising campaign supports Neuro-Laser Foundation’s further research and financial aid for military veterans, first-responders and others who may qualify for this treatment.
Thirty-nine sequential patients treated for TBI between March 2013 and May 2017 provided depression self-assessment data and/or were administered the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Each completed the Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomatology-Self Reports (QIDS) before and after treatment. Treatment was applied to forehead and temporal regions bilaterally for 9-12 minutes to each area. Pre- and post-treatment scores were analyzed by paired t-tests.
- 36 of the 39 patients reported robust response, decreasing symptoms by more than 50 percent.
- 32 of 39 patients post-treatment QIDS scores indicated a remission from depression.
- Overall, the QIDS score fell from 14.10 (+ 3.39) to 3.41 (+ 3.30)
- Suicidal ideation resolved in all, but two patients. Patients remained in remission for up to 55 months after a single post-course of treatment.
- Patients saw benefit often within 4 treatments and resolution of depressive symptoms occurred within 4 weeks for some.
An estimated 6.6% of Americans suffer from depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, affecting an estimated 350 million people worldwide.
The Neuro-Laser Foundation is a non-profit organization, based in Denver, Colorado, building on more than 30 years of studying the effects of near-infrared light on cells and tissues to advance technology and treatment approaches for traumatic brain injury, among other psychiatric conditions. Donations support research as well as treatment for military Veterans and first-responders who qualify. Please support the “Say Goodbye TBI” campaign, and learn more at TBI.care or calling (720) 493-1101.