Light Therapy Research – Neuropathy

A collection of light therapy research articles on the benefits of light therapy use for complications of Diabetes.

NOTE: Researchers use several terms to describe “light therapy”. Photobiomodulation, low level light therapy (LLLT), phototherapy, photon therapy, photo energy, heliotherapy, and sometimes red, blue or (near) infrared radiation are synonymous; they all refer to light therapy.


Influence of low-level laser on pain and inflammation in type 2 diabetes mellitus with diabetic dermopathy - A case report.

May 11, 2017

Diabetic dermopathy is the most common skin lesion found in patients with diabetes. This case study found that infrared light drastically improved skin lesions and neuropathy in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and in as little as 21 days, skin colour returned to normal.

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Light Therapy produces significant collagen formation in diabetic wounds

This study published by the Department of Dermatology in Kangbuk Samsung Hospital cited that if low level light therapy was delivered with an appropriate wavelength and energy density, then the potential for a significant effect exists. It was also noted that infrared light is associated with improved blood flow and neovascularization (new blood vessel growth or angiogenesis).

Many previous studies have shown that diabetic wounds can be positively affected with low level light therapy. In this study, it was shown that the type 1 collagen production was specifically increased as was overall wound healing.

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Rationale for 30 years of physician-administered light therapy for diabetic neuropathy

This study was performed on 60 patients with diabetic neuropathy, whereby they were given light therapy twice per week for a full month. The results showed the improvement of neuropathy outcomes in the light-treated group. This study supports and validates the use of light therapy in which the authors noted has been used over the past three decades by physicians for the management and the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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Improving sensitivity in patients with peripheral neuropathy using Infrared light

The medical records of 1,047 patients with established peripheral neuropathy were examined to determine whether treatment with monochromatic infrared photo energy was associated with increased foot sensitivity. The peripheral neuropathy in 790 of these patients (75%) was due to diabetes mellitus. Before treatment with monochromatic infrared photo energy, of the ten tested sites (five on each foot), a mean ± SD of 7.9 ± 2.4 sites were insensitive to the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein monofilament, and 1,033 patients exhibited loss of protective sensation. After treatment, the mean ± SD number of insensate sites on both feet was 2.3 ± 2.4, an improvement of 71%.

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Influence of Infrared Lights & Physical Therapy on Sensation, Balance and Falls in Peripheral Neuropathy.

2004, Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy Article

Elderly patients are at high risk for falls due, in part, to the loss of sensation in the lower extremities. This study examined the effectiveness of a comprehensive therapy intervention that included monochromatic infrared photo energy for improving foot sensation, balance, and fall status.

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Restoration of Sensation, Reduced Pain and Improved Balance in Subjects with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

2004, Diabetes Care Magazine

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) has been thought to be progressive and irreversible. Recently, symptomatic reversal of DPN was reported after treatments with a near-infrared medical device, the Anodyne Therapy System (ATS). This study found that treatments improve sensation in the feet of subjects with DPN, improve balance, and reduce pain.

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Reversal of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and New Wound Incidence: The Role of MIRE (Monochromatic Infrared Energy)

2004, Wound Care Journal, Original Investigation

After reversal of diabetic peripheral neuropathy following treatment with monochromatic near infrared photo energy, only 1 of 68 patients developed a new diabetic foot wound, for an incidence of 1.5%.  Comparatively, the incidence previously reported in the Medicare-aged population with diabetes was 7.3%.

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Symptomatic Reversal of Peripheral Neuropathy in Patients with Diabetes

2002, Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Research Article

Forty-nine consecutive subjects with established diabetic peripheral neuropathy were treated with monochromatic near-infrared photo energy (MIRE) to determine if there was an improvement of sensation. This study determined that Infrared Light may be a safe, drug-free, noninvasive treatment for the consistent and predictable improvement of sensation in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy of the feet.

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Infrared energy may reduce neuropathic pain

2007, Practical Pain Management, Research Article

Near infrared light therapy, together with physical therapy, may be able to reduce pain in neuropathy patients and possibly reduce medication dosage levels of those undergoing drug therapy.

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Effectiveness of Light on Pain, Sensation and Quality of Life in Patients with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

2010, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

This study found that only four treatments with photon stimulation resulted in significant improvements in some pain qualities, sensation, and QOL outcomes in a sample of patients with a significant amount of pain and disability from their diabetes.

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Changes in Sensation, Pain and Balance; a multi-center study on the effectiveness of infrared light

2005, Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, Research Article

Compared with the literature, preliminary findings suggest that MIRE™ plus manual physical therapy improves pain, balance, and sensation symptoms in patients with peripheral neuropathy, at least temporarily.

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Improved Foot Sensitivity and Pain Reduction in Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy after Treatment with Nomochromatic Infrared Photo Energy

The medical records of 2239 patients (mean age=73 years) with established peripheral neuropathy (PN) were examined to determine whether treatment with MIRE was, in fact, associated with increased foot sensitivity to the Semmes Weinstein monofilament (SWM) 5.07 and a reduction in neuropathic pain. The PN in 1395 of these patients (62%) was due to diabetes.

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The Restorative Effects of Pulsed Infrared Light Therapy on Significant Loss of Peripheral Protective Sensation in Patients with Long-Term Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Pulsed infrared light therapy (PILT) has been shown to increase peripheral sensation in diabetic patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). However, most studies last for very short periods, with the subjects receiving only 6-20 treatments.

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Restoration of Sensation, Reduced Pain, and Improved Balance in Subjects with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) has been thought to be progressive and irreversible. Recently, symptomatic reversal of DPN was reported after treatments with a near-infrared medical device, the Anodyne Therapy System (ATS).

<View Study>



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