New Research Shows Near-Infrared Light Stimulation Improves Autism Symptoms in Children

May 13, 2024

Treatment Targets Specific Brain Areas without Any Adverse Reactions

A recent study has investigated transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM), a non-invasive neuromodulation technique that delivers near-infrared (NIR) light stimulation to the brain.  The research demonstrated that pulsed NIR light stimulation of specific brain areas significantly improved autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms in children aged two to six. This improvement was measured through changes in Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores, EEG readings, and parental interviews. The treatment was found to be safe, with no adverse reactions in the active treatment group. The study also identified a minimum clinically important difference of 4.5 points in the CARS score post-treatment, indicating a significant improvement in symptoms. Notably, previous research has suggested that tPBM could effectively treat ASD symptoms by targeting brain areas associated with social cognition, language, and sensory processing. EEG analysis revealed reductions in delta wave power and increases in theta wave power, potentially serving as biomarkers for ASD and treatment efficacy. The study recognized that sunlight exposure may also have some benefits; however, tPBM offers precise wavelength and pulsing parameters that cannot be replicated by sunlight alone, making it a promising supplemental therapy for ASD. However, the authors state that further research is needed to optimize treatment parameters and understand the mechanisms underlying tPBM’s effects on brain physiology in ASD. 

Original Study

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons