I was inspired to revisit this paper today after reading a fascinating post on longecity.org by member, Lostfalco, an avid, one might venture to say extreme, proponent of self-experimenting. Here’s another very thorough post on Selfhacked.com by Joseph Cohen. And Gwern weighs in! Low-level light/laser therapy (LLLT) works in an entirely different way than tDCS. Feeling like I have a lot of reading ahead of me. I will begin to share more research as it becomes available. Check out the video below for a basic understanding of the process.
Cognitive and emotional functions
LLLT via commercial low-power sources (such as FDA-cleared laser diodes and LEDs) is a highly promising, affordable, non-pharmacological alternative for improving cognitive function. LLLT delivers safe doses of light energy that are sufficiently high to modulate neuronal functions, but low enough to not result in any damage. In 2002, the FDA approved LLLT for pain relief in cases of head and neck pain, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. LLLT has been used non-invasively in humans after ischemic stroke to improve neurological outcome. It also led to improved recovery and reduced fatigue after exercise. One LLLT stimulation session to the forehead, as reported by Schiffer et al. (2009), produced a significant antidepressant effect in depressed patients. No adverse side effects were found either immediately or at 2 or 4 weeks after LLLT. Thus, these beneficial LLLT treatments have been found to be safe in humans. Even though LLLT has been regarded as safe and received FDA approval for pain treatment, the use of transcranial lasers for cognitive augmentation should be restricted to research until further controlled studies support this application for clinical use.
In this video LLLT is described as a treatment for damaged tissue. In the paper above, the same process is used to ‘augment brain function’.