Dr. Robert Bowen, President of the Foundation for Photobiomodulation Research, and Dr. Praveen Arany, Past President of the North American Association for Photobiomodulation Therapy (NAALT), led an open-label, proof-of-concept clinical study, entitled “Use of Either Transcranial and Whole-Body PBM Treatments Improves COVID-19 Brain Fog” which examined the efficacy of two photobiomodulation (PBM) devices for improving Long COVID symptoms, specifically brain fog and general fatigue.
The devices employed were the Neuradiant 1070, a LED-based transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) headset designed to enhance brain health and wellness developed by Neuronic, and the NovoTHOR Whole Body Light from THOR, which uses a combination of red and near-infrared LED light that delivers PBM therapy to the entire body. The Neuradiant 1070 was developed based on research at Quietmind Foundation.
The study involved 14 subjects with Long COVID symptoms that included slowed thinking and reactions, mental fatigue, confusion and impaired verbal articulation.
The subjects were randomly assigned to tPBM treatment using the Neuradiant 1070 or the NovoTHOR Whole Body Light. Both groups received three 14-minute PBM treatments per week for 4 weeks. Clinical changes were measured using Quantitative EEG (QEEG) and Event Related Potentials (ERP) recordings of surface brain electrical activity and several standard neuropsychological measures of cognition and executive functioning.
Clinical trial results show that the Neuradiant 1070 is effective for Long COVID symptoms
All participants reported their cognitive functioning had returned to normal or ‘better than normal’ at the completion of the month-long trial period. The study results showed significant improvement in the subjects' cognition, executive functions, processing speed, and self-reported level of improvement.
Event Related Potential (ERP) analyses showed subjects’ significant improvement in their response to auditory and visual stimuli following PBM treatment. Improvements were also correlated with an increase in Digit Symbol Substitution (DSST) scores showing improvement in attention and information processing speed.
Long Covid: What to Expect in the Coming Years
PBM is gaining attention in the scientific community for its potential as a safe, effective, low-cost, non-invasive approach for treating Long COVID, as this study’s results now demonstrate.
Dr. Robert Bowen added: “Both treatments have demonstrated a significant effect in improving cognitive function in subjects who presented with 'brain fog' after infection with COVID-19.” Expanded multi-site feasibility trials are currently being developed.
The study was conducted with funding from the Office of the Governor of West Virginia and received guidance from the Foundation for Photobiomodulation Research, Marvin Berman, PhD., President of the Quietmind Foundation and co-founder of Neuronic, as well as Dr. Mary Hendrix, President of Shepherd University, who provided vision and support for the project.
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