Contributions of Near Infrared Light Emitting Diode in Neurosurgery

Background: Since the discovery of laser for the use of clinical therapies in the early 1960s, light therapies has expanded vastly to accommodate light emitting diodes which the wavelength ranges from red to near infrared. Both laser and light emitting diode have shown to be effective with wound healing, inflammation, and neuroprotection where most lesions occur, with both medical and therapeutic qualities. The utility of NIR fluorescence allows for the ability to detect and give reference to the stability of carotid plaques and their microanatomy. Recently, research has begun to look into the therapeutic effects of NIR light on neurodegenerative diseases.

Objective: To demonstrate that the laser and light emitting diode have shown to be effective and therapeutic for the control of wound healing metabolisms and modulation of inflammation. This article focuses on recent literature with new applications for wound healing, inflammation, as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Also discussed is a comparison of near infrared light emitting diodes and low level laser therapies.

Materials and method: We analyzed medical and engineering books, journals, index medicus, PubMed, FDA recommendations, requirements, patents, social media, and anecdotal evidence related to near infrared light therapy, from 1976 through 2015. The manuscript contains 72 pertinent referenced articles after research of over 250articles.

Conclusion: Light therapy has been shown to be an effective coadjutant therapy for many neurosurgical applications. The LED has had technological advancement in the last decade which makes it an excellent option for light therapy. Unlike the laser, LED devices are portable, cost effective, safer, easy to use and has shown to be effective in wound healing and inflammation on the central and peripheral nervous systems.


Manuel Dujovny, Erin Morency, Onyekachi Ibe, Pablo Sosa, Fabian Cremaschi

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