Wow, what a decade it has been for LLLT. Credibility is critical for acceptance by reimbursement and regulatory authorities as well as doctors and therapists. In the last ten years over 1,000 papers have been published that build on the work of the early pioneers. Highlights of this decade include: FDA clearance, publication in high impact factor journals such as Nature, Pain, PNAS, Spine, Muscle and Nerve, Stroke, Blood and, of course, The Lancet. Output from world renowned institutions including Harvard Medical School, NASA and the US Navy add further reassurance.
For the record a quick reminder of some of the early pioneers,
- The Mesters were the original discoverers of LLLT
- Tiina Karu investigated the mechanism and action spectra
- Mary Dyson investigated the effects of light on the cells involved in wound healing
- Rochkind started the nerve regeneration research
- Judith Walker, Liisa Laakso and G.David Baxter – early pain mechanism research
- Juanita Anders, Ray Lanzafame, Chukuka Enwemeka & Jeffrey Basford in the USA – researched and published despite a hostile FDA at the time
- Toshio Oshiro along with Glen Calderhead and Kevin Moore started and ran the World Association for Laser Therapy, created and edited the Laser Therapy journal as well as being prolific authors
- Japan has the award for most published research in the 90’s taking over from USSR / CIS in previous decades
- Jan Tuner and Laser Hode – research, discussion list and invaluable books
- Rachel Lubart, Harry Friedman (ROS), Uri Orn (ischemia), Ann Thelander (lymphoedema), Norman Salansky & Natasha Filonenko (wound healing RCT), Paul Bradley, Aldo Brugnera & Antonio Pinheiro (dental research) ,René-Jean Bensadoun (mucositis), Sue England, Andreas Schindl, Leonardo Longo, Mario Trelles, Kira Samoilova, and hundreds I have neglected to mention.
Please add more names and acknowledgments in the comments section below
In the last Decade
- Ron Waynant held the inaugural NAALT meeting at the FDA in Rockville MD. One of many important steps towards changing the FDA position on LLLT.
- Jan Bjordal published a range of “exemplary” systematic reviews that show the importance of treatment location and dose as well as his partnership with Rodrigo Lopez Martins on inflammation and supervisory role of many clinical studies.
- Roberta Chow – researched analgesia and had the vision and stubbornness to have her work published in the journals Pain and The Lancet.
- Juanita Anders and her team – spinal cord injury work and efforts to maintain standards in NAALT
- Ray Lanzafame and his team – wound healing research but more so for his huge amounts of time and effort as Editor in Chief of Photomedicine and Laser Surgery and his Presidency of NAALT and ASLMS
- Harry Whelan for adding the NASA and DARPA brands (stamp of approval) to LLLT as well the academic results and insights published
- Mike Hamblin for bringing Harvard to the party, running the Mechanisms for Low Light Therapy Meeting, and for his support and encouragement to me these last couple of years.
- Jackson Streeter and Photothera who have been single minded about developing a device for treatment of acute stroke and to-date have conducted the largest RCT in the history of LLLT.
- And everybody else working on disorders and injury of the brain including Pat Trimmer, Harry Whelan, Mike Hamblin and everyone who works with them
- The American Society for Photobiology have taken a more active interest in LLLT in the last couple of years (thank you Kendrick Smith and Dave Sliney)
- Brazil gets the award for the highest volume of research published this decade
- More interesting application areas arrived such as Age Related Macular degeneration, Muscle Fatigue, and LLLT and stem cells
Please add your thoughts and acknowledgments on the past decade below
Maybe in the next decade Cochrane, NICE and the American health insurance companies will be a little more thorough with their reviews and take appropriate treatment power density and dose into account. You can read more thoughts on the future of LLLT by clicking here