Time Course of Brain Metabolic Changes after Transcranial Infrared Laser Stimulation

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2021-05-07

Authors

Venkat, Sindhu

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Abstract

Cognitive impairment is defined as the transition state between healthy memory decline due to aging and dementia. Cognitive impairment affects 16 million Americans and is four times as common as dementia. Low-level laser light therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive procedure that has been used to treat several psychological disorders, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and neurological disorders. LLLT works by sending photons to activate the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase, increasing its activity and expression. Cytochrome oxidase activity directly correlates with brain metabolic activity. Increases in cytochrome oxidase activity have the greatest effect in neurons involves high energy processes like cognitive processing. Thus, increases in this enzyme’s activity indicate cognitive enhancement. Subsequently, cytochrome oxidase stimulation via LLLT is a potential treatment for cognitive impairment. Present research analyzes the duration of cognitive effects following a single LLLT treatment in a rat model. Predicted results suggest that LLLT causes a significant increase in cytochrome oxidase activity in rat brains 1 day after LLLT treatment, a modest increase in activity 2 weeks after treatment, and no change 4 weeks after treatment. Additionally, effects of functional connectivity in the brain are expected to be limited to 1 day after treatment, with no discernible effect on functional connectivity 2 weeks and 4 weeks post-treatment.

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