The Core Science behind Cerebra PhotoBioStim Technology (CPBS)
In recent years, the use of low levels of visible or near-infrared (NIR) light as used in Cerebra PhotoBio-Stimulation (CPBS) has become an increasingly mainstream modality, especially used for reducing pain, inflammation, promoting healing of wounds, deeper tissues and nerves, and preventing cortical tissue damage. The applications of CPBS have broadened to include diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative or traumatic brain injuries. CPBS operates both on a cellular and a tissue level.
In CPBS, the primary photoreceptors for red and NIR light are mitochondria, and cortical neurons are exceptionally rich in mitochondria. It is likely that brain cells are ideally set up to respond to light therapy. The basic biochemical pathways activated by NIR light, e.g., increased adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP) production, and signaling pathways activated by reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide release, and increased cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) all work together to produce beneficial effects in brains whose function has been compromised by ischemia, traumatic injury, or neurodegeneration. One of the main mechanisms of action of CPBS transcranial light therapy is to prevent neurons from dying, when they have been subjected to some sort of hypoxic, traumatic, or toxic insult. Increased neurogenesis, i.e. the generation of neuronal precursors and birth of new neural cells can be stimulated by CPBS. Neural progenitor cells give birth to newly formed neurons that are thought to play a role in brain function, particularly in olfaction and in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. It is also suggested that CPBS stimulates cell growth directly by regulating the expression of specific genes, as well as indirectly by regulating the expression of the genes related to DNA synthesis and repair, and cell metabolism.
The diagram (in Figure 2) illustrates the mechanism of CPBS at the cellular and molecular level. Near infrared light, absorbed by the mitochondria, causes up regulation of the cellular respiratory chain. A host of downstream cellular responses involving nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate ensues, which ultimately dictates therapeutic CPBS effects.
CPBS is steadily moving into mainstream practice. As the populations continue to age, the incidence of the neurodevelopmental disorders (like Global Developmental Delays, Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, and Intellectual Disability) in children and degenerative diseases of old age (such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Amnestic Disorders) will continue to increase and produce an evermore severe financial and societal burden. Moreover, despite the best efforts of “big pharma”, distrust of pharmaceuticals is growing in general because of uncertain efficacy and troublesome adverse effects. CPBS has no reported adverse effects and it is totally non-invasive drug-free therapy.
The benefits of CPBS to both the central and peripheral nervous system suggests that much wider use of the technology should be made in cases of both brain diseases and injuries.