Photobiomodulation as a treatment for neurodegenerative disorders: current and future trends

  • Namgue HongEmail author
Review Article


Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a rapidly growing as an innovative therapeutic modality for various types of diseases in recent years. Neuronal degeneration is irreversible process and it is proven to be difficult to slow down or stop the progression. Pharmacologic approaches to slow neuronal degeneration have been studied, but are limited due to concerns about the side effects. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new therapeutic approach to stabilize neuronal degeneration and achieve neuronal protection against several neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have introduced several previous studies showing the positive effect of PBM over neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and different types of epilepsy. Despite excellent outcomes of animal researches, not many clinical studies are conducted or showed positive outcome of PBM against neurodegenerative disease. To achieve clinical application of PBM against neurodegenerative disorder, determination of exact mechanism and establishment of effective clinical protocol seems to be necessary.


Photobiomodulation Neurodegenerative diseases Alzheimer’s diseases Parkinson’s diseases Epilepsy 



The author thanks Prof. Jin-Chul Ahn and Dr. Min Young Lee for helpful comments on the manuscript.


This research was a part of the project titled ‘Development of marine material based near infrared fluorophore complex and diagnostic imaging instruments’, funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea (Grant Number 20170263), and also supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (Grant Numbers 20002777 and 20002831).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Medical and Biological Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pre-medical Science, College of MedicineDankook UniversityCheonanRepublic of Korea

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