Low-Level Light Therapy for Nerve and Spinal Cord Regeneration

Authored by: Nivaldo A. Parizotto

Handbook Ofphotomedicine

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9781439884690
eBook ISBN: 9781439884706
Adobe ISBN:


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Posttraumatic nerve lesion and repair is still a challenge for rehabilitation. If the nerve is damaged, it can result in motor and sensory disabilities. In the clinical set, it represents serious problems and it is recognized that there are about 50,000 peripheral nerve repair procedures in the United States annually (Moges et al. 2011). For this reason, it is particularly important to develop clinical protocols to enhance nerve regeneration. Many papers have been published trying to explain the mechanisms of the lowintensity laser or other kinds of light therapy that improve the peripheral nerve repair in different models in animals and humans, including in vitro studies. It is very important to provide early movements to the muscles and create a way to allow improvement in the life conditions of patients submitted to peripheral nerve lesion (Gigo-Benato, Geuna, and Rochkind 2005; Moges et al. 2011; Zhang et al. 2010). The specific purpose of photostimulation in the nerves is to facilitate the physiological reconnection of those nerves to respective muscles. It is not easy. Many factors interfere in this process, including the size of lesion, the distance from proximal stub to distal part of the nerve, expression of the growth factors, morphology adaptations in the cell body of the neurons, and extracellular matrix reorganization to open this pathway in the periaxonal environment (Rochkind, Geuna, and Shainberg 2009).

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