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Photobiomodulation supports reversal of cognitive decline through several key mechanisms, from boosting cerebral blood flow to reducing inflammation.

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Photobiomodulation for Alzheimer's

Factors of Alzheimer's

As we age, our brain's health declines from low blood flow, low energy production, and cumulative cellular death.
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Low Blood Flow

Blocked or weakened blood flow to the brain has significant negative effects. Blood is essential for transporting oxygen, nutrients, and energy, while also removing waste.
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Low ATP Production

Cells receiving less oxygen are less efficient producers of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), or usable cellular energy, leaving cells unable to function properly. ATP is necessary for cells to repair damage, remove waste, and respond to their environment.
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Cellular Damage

Neurons and blood vessels become damaged during gradual brain decline as well as during a stroke. Unless the damaged cells are replaced or repaired, the negative effects are lasting.

How PBM Affects Alzheimer's

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Increases Blood Flow

Light induces blood flow through the localized release of nitric oxide, the warming of arteries, and the subsequent creation of a proton gradient flow into the cells.

Increased blood circulation to the brain is essential for recovery.

  • "There are Photobiomodulation (PBM) tissue mechanisms that are specific to the brain. One of the most important is an increase in cerebral blood flow, leading to increased tissue oxygenation, and more oxidized CCO as measured by NIR spectroscopy."

Increases ATP Production

Light stimulates the mitochondria of the cell, increasing the production of usable cellular energy (ATP).

ATP provides the energy for most cellular functions. Maintaining proper levels of ATP is critical for repairing damage suffered after a traumatic brain injury.

  • "Photobiomodulation seems to provoke an increase in the availability of electrons for the reduction of molecular oxygen in the catalytic center of Cox, increasing mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and increasing levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and reactive oxygen species (ROS), all of which indicate heightened mitochondrial functioning and cellular metabolism."

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Repairs & Regrows Cells

Light stimulates cellular repair pathways that signal mesenchymal stem cells and neural progenitor cells to repair damage and form new blood vessels and neurons.

  • "Low level laser therapy (LLLT) has been demonstrated to be able to modulate biological mechanisms in wound healing, angiogenesis, and inflammation. Besides that, it has also been reported to induce angiogenesis in several experimental models where blood vessel formation is critical to success." 

Evidence suggests that Neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells, is stimulated by near-infrared light.

  • "One of the most notable and potentially significant effects of PBM in the brain is its ability to promote both synaptogenesis and neurogenesis. This is vitally important, as many brain conditions, including TBI, neurodegenerative diseases, and mood disorders can be traced, either partially or in full, to atrophy, cell death, and poor neuronal connections in certain regions of the brain." 

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Watch: How PBM Improves Brain Health

Photobiomodulation is Safe & Effective 

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Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study

Authors: Margaret A Naeser 1, Ross Zafonte, Maxine H Krengel, Paula I Martin, Judith Frazier, Michael R Hamblin, Jeffrey A Knight, William P Meehan 3rd, Errol H Baker

  • Safe: "LED therapy is noninvasive, painless, and non-thermal (cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA], an insignificant risk device)" 


  • Effective: "A significant linear trend was observed for the effect of LED treatment over time for the Stroop test for Executive Function . . . Participants reported improved sleep, and fewer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, if present. Participants and family reported better ability to perform social, interpersonal, and occupational functions."

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Photobiomodulation for traumatic brain injury and stroke

Michael R. Hamblin,

  • Safe: "The almost complete lack of any adverse side-effects of Photobiomodulation (PBM), coupled with growing disillusion with pharmaceutical drugs that affect brain function, have combined together to suggest an alternative physical therapy approach to improving brain function."


  • Effective: "Photobiomodulation (PBM) employs red or near-infrared (NIR) light (600–1100nm) to stimulate healing, protect tissue from dying, increase mitochondrial function, improve blood flow, and tissue oxygenation. PBM can also act to reduce swelling, increase antioxidants, decrease inflammation, protect against apoptosis, and modulate microglial activation state. All these mechanisms of action strongly suggest that PBM delivered to the head should be beneficial in cases of both acute and chronic TBI.."


Clinical Trials

JustLight is determined to earn FDA approval for Sunflower Rx™ as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Our team has initiated conversations with the FDA through our FDA consultants, DLA Piper, and are designing clinical trials to support pursuing FDA clearance for Alzheimer's-based dementia. 

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Sunflower Rx™ will make Alzheimer's treatments

effective, safe, and accessible. 

We are designing a Phase II clinical trial for 2023. 


Some Light Reading

Discover the work and ideas of the visionary scientists whose research inspires us. 

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More About PBM

At JustLight, we are committed to furthering the public understanding of the necessity of light for health.

Pick a category to learn more about Light!

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