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Unblinded By The Light: Photobiomodulation For The Treatment Of Retinal Degenerative Disease

748 words - 3 pages

Irradiation in the red/near-infrared spectrum (R/NIR, 630 – 1000 nm) has been recently used as a potential therapeutic strategy to treat different diseases and injuries such as Mitochondrial Disease, Degenerative Eye Diseases, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, Metabolic Diseases (Eells et al., 2003), wound healing, central nervous system injury, and for restless leg syndrome (Fitzgerald et al., 2013).
Dr. Janis Eells presented a study that was accomplished by her and her students under the title “UNBLINDED BY THE LIGHT: Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Retinal Degenerative Disease”. The purpose of this study is to determine whether photobiomodulation with near-infrared is able to treat retinal degeneration diseases. Thus, they hypothesis that the exposure of a rodent model of methanol toxicity to photobiomodulation (PBM) with near-infrared (NIR) could play a potential role in protecting the retina against the toxic actions of the methanol- derived formic acid. What is known about the topic is that if a small amount of methanol is injected it will rapidly cause permanent blindness. The methanol is metabolized to a mitochondrial toxin, and it is formic acid that can inhibit Cytochrome c Oxidase. This formic acid is able to interrupt mitochondrial function and increases oxidative stress in the retina and optic nerve which eventually leads to blindness. In order to fully test their hypothesis, the rats were randomly divided into four treatment groups: untreated control, LED-treated control, methanol-intoxicated, and LED-treated, methanol-intoxicated rats. they used electroretinogram as a sensitive indicator of retinal function, the experimental rats under methanol intoxication were exposed to three short period (2 min, 24 s) 670-nm LED treatments and they looked at the methanol intoxication after 5, 25, and 50 hours attenuated the retinotoxic effects of methanol- derived formate. Interestingly, their results shown that when cells were exposed to low-energy photon irradiation in the near-infrared range of the spectrum, they were able to successfully restore damaged mitochondria function, increased cytoprotective factors production and enhance cell survival in animal with retinal degeneration. Furthermore, they investigated whether photobiomodulation would have an effect on retinitis pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa is a severe retinal degeneration that results from mutations in rhodopsin. As a treatment protocol, they used SpectraLife LED Hybrid Lamp in the...

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