How soon can I expect results with transcranial photobiomodulation?

How soon can I expect results with transcranial photobiomodulation?

Brain photobiomodulation (PBM) is a rapidly evolving field with promising applications for brain health. By utilizing red or near-infrared light to stimulate cellular processes, photobiomodulation offers a non-invasive approach to potentially improve cognitive function, mood, sleep, and even manage neurological conditions. However, one of the most common questions surrounding PBM is: How soon can I expect results?

Unfortunately, there's no single answer. The timeline for experiencing benefits from photobiomodulation therapy depends on several factors, including:

  • Reason for application: Different conditions may respond differently to photobiomodulation. Studies have shown promising results for specific issues, but the timeframe for improvement can vary;
  • Protocol parameters: Factors like light wavelength, power density, and duration all influence the effectiveness and speed of photobiomodulation;
  • Individual variability: Just like with anything else, every brain is unique, which means that different people will respond differently to the same photobiomodulation protocol. Some individuals may experience noticeable effects quickly, while others may require a longer period of consistent usage.

Photobiomodulation studies: Examining timeframes for expected results

Here's a breakdown of some key studies exploring PBM's impact on various brain functions and the reported timelines for potential results:

1. Transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) for cognitive enhancement and memory
A 2022 study published in Nature Neuroscience investigated the effects of transcranial PBM (t-PBM) on cognitive function in healthy adults. Each participant received two 12-minute light therapy sessions, one week apart. The results showed improved performance on working memory tasks.

Frequency: The two sessions were separated by a one-week interval
Duration: 1 week
Session length: 12 minutes
Wavelength: 1064 nm (experiments 1, 2, and 4) or 852 nm (experiment 3)
Power density: 167 mW/cm²

2. Transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) for major depressive disorder (MDD)
A 2018 study explored the use of tPBM for treating major depressive disorder (MDD). Participants received tPBM twice a week for eight weeks. The results showed that the light therapy seemed to improve mood in the people who received it. This effect was moderate to large, depending on how the researchers analyzed the data. There were also no major side effects reported.

Frequency: Twice a week
Duration: 8 weeks
Session length: 20-30 minutes
Wavelength: 823 nm
Power density: 36.2 mW/cm²

3. Transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) for cognitive decline
A study from 2017 showed that the use of NIR laser (1064 nm, 250 mW/cm.2, 8 min) once a week for a total of 5 weeks can improve the behavioral cognitive processing of middle-aged and elderly subjects at a risk of cognitive decline.

Frequency: Once a week
Duration: 5 weeks
Session length: 8 minutes
Wavelength: 1064 nm
Power density: 250 mW/cm²

Our clients’ experience with light therapy: Individualized approaches & consistent use

At Neuronic, we've witnessed the transformative power of light therapy for a wide range of individuals through our consultation service, because we understand that achieving optimal results hinges on a crucial factor: personalized protocol plans.
As we already mentioned above, success with light therapy is highly individual and dependent on consistency and compliance, and on the underlying conditions a client may have.

The benefits of light therapy can manifest in surprisingly diverse ways. Many of our clients experience significant benefits with a minimum of 3-5 sessions per week, lasting 10-30 minutes each. This consistent exposure allows tissues and nerves to undergo a regenerative process.

While some of our clients experience immediate relief, like a reduction in headaches, after a single application, others may require a more customized approach. For instance, one client discovered a significant improvement in their condition only after incorporating the Glow protocol into their existing pulsing frequency routine.

Unlocking the full potential of light therapy requires consistency and personalization. To achieve optimal results, our 3-month consultation service allows you to explore different protocols and identify the one that best addresses your specific needs. Furthermore, our generous 3-month return policy ensures your satisfaction – if you haven't experienced results within 90 days, you can return the device.

Important considerations

When it comes to photobiomodulation, consistency is key. That’s why most studies suggest that consistent daily or regular usage over a period of weeks or months is crucial for maximizing results. By embracing a patient and consistent approach, PBM can offer a natural and promising path towards unlocking the full potential of your brain health.

At the same time, as we discussed previously, the optimal protocol will vary depending on the targeted condition and individual needs. Seeking guidance from a light therapy professional is crucial for developing a personalized photobiomodulation plan, as they help can tailor a personalized protocol plan to your specific needs to achieve optimal results.


While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how soon you can expect results with photobiomodulation, the studies mentioned offer encouraging insights. Consistent usage for a period of weeks can potentially lead to improvements in cognitive function, mood, and sleep quality.

As research in photobiomodulation continues to evolve, we can expect a clearer understanding of optimal protocols and a more precise timeframe for potential results. New technologies and devices are being developed to deliver photobiomodulation therapy more effectively, further enhancing its potential for brain health.



  1. Zhao, C., Li, D., Kong, Y., Liu, H., Hu, Y., Niu, H., Jensen, O., Li, X., Liu, H., & Song, Y. (2022). Transcranial photobiomodulation enhances visual working memory capacity in humans. Science advances, 8(48), eabq3211.
  2. Cassano, P., Petrie, S. R., Mischoulon, D., Cusin, C., Katnani, H., Yeung, A., De Taboada, L., Archibald, A., Bui, E., Baer, L., Chang, T., Chen, J., Pedrelli, P., Fisher, L., Farabaugh, A., Hamblin, M. R., Alpert, J. E., Fava, M., & Iosifescu, D. V. (2018). Transcranial Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The ELATED-2 Pilot Trial. Photomedicine and laser surgery, 36(12), 634–646.
  3. Vargas, E., Barrett, D. W., Saucedo, C. L., Huang, L. D., Abraham, J. A., Tanaka, H., Haley, A. P., & Gonzalez-Lima, F. (2017). Beneficial neurocognitive effects of transcranial laser in older adults. Lasers in medical science, 32(5), 1153–1162.
Back to blog