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Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. In the United States, anxiety disorders cost more than $42 billion a year – this is almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill (The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders – The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60(7), July 1999). Medications can be helpful, but, overall, current medications merely cover up the symptoms of anxiety. Medications do little to change the fundamental brain problem which creates anxiety.

Over the past decade, transcranial NILT has been studied in animal models to understand its ability to repair damaged or dysfunctional brain tissue resulting from stroke and TBI. Our experience with patients whom we have treated for TBI is that they often experience marked reduction in symptoms of anxiety and/or PTSD. Similarly, a small case series of patients with TBI were treated with low-power NIR light applied daily over months yielded reductions in symptoms of anxiety (Schiffer 2009).

However, it is vital to recognize the distinction between low-level infrared light treatment programs and high-energy infrared light treatment programs. Programs may claim to have solutions or treatments for TBI with low-level infrared light, but our preclinical studies clearly show that there is no significant penetration through skin or through bone and brain to deliver meaningful levels of photoenergy to the portions of the brain affected by depression or TBI (Henderson & Morries 2015).

The Neuro-Laser Foundation is embarking on studies of the application of NILT as a treatment for PTSD and other forms of anxiety in a collaborative study with Massachusetts General Hospital colleagues.

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