Red Light Therapy For Parkinson's Disease - Review Of Scientific Studies

In the ever-evolving landscape of medical research, innovative therapies for Parkinson's disease have garnered increasing attention. While large-scale studies are still in their infancy, smaller-scale trials and animal models have shown promising results for red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, to alleviate symptoms associated with Parkinson's Disease.

“PBM therapy using laser or LED devices will become one of the most promising strategies for neurorehabilitation in upcoming years.” [Salehpour F, Mahmoudi J, et al.]

In this article, we will explore the benefits of red light therapy for Parkinson's Disease and the status quo of scientific studies and clinical trials.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Parkinson's Disease

Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation, is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment that utilizes low-intensity red and near-infrared light to stimulate healing and reduce pain. Here are some of the key benefits of red light therapy for Parkinson's Disease:

Improve Mitochondrial Functioning

Similar to how our body can use sunlight to produce Vitamin D, it is able to absorb the energy of red light photons to produce cellular energy, also called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This boost in ATP helps cells function more efficiently and repair damage more effectively.


Through this process, red light therapy restores normal mitochondrial functioning and restores oxidative stress. As a result, it can support tissue repair, reduce pain, and enhance recovery after injury or exercise.

"The study demonstrated an immediate increase in ATP production in vitro and an initial acceleration of callus formation in the fracture healing process, in the presence of NIR." [Quirk BJ, Sannagowdara K, et al.]

What does this mean?  Neural tissues contain large amounts of mitochondrial CCO, and mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress are recognized as major contributors to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. Photobiomodulation can help with the loss of cellular energy that is common in Parkinson’s, thereby minimizing the disease's capabilities to progress.

Production Of Dopamine And Serotonin

Surprisingly, the gut plays a crucial role in Parkinson's disease, as it has the capacity to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.


By applying Photobiomodulation therapy to the gut, Parkinson's patients can reduce inflammation and stimulate the production of short-chain fatty acids. This directly impacts the production of dopamine and serotonin, providing therapeutic benefits.

"In summary, our results indicate that NIr light treatment offers neuroprotection against MPTP toxicity for dopaminergic cells" [Shaw VE, Spana S, et al.]


"There were consistently more dopaminergic cells in MPTP-treated mice irradiated with NIr than in those that were not irradiated." [Moro C, Massri NE, et al.]

What does this mean?  Dopamine and serotonin deficiency are closely linked to Parkinson's disease. By stimulating the production of these chemicals in our body, red light therapy can help alleviate symptoms of tremors, rigidity, depression & anxiety as well as contribute to better sleep quality.

Scientific Evidence for Red Light Therapy For Parkinson's Disease

Numerous scientific studies have investigated the effectiveness of red light therapy for Parkinson's. While more research needs to be done, several studies have provided promising results:





In summary, early evidence indicates that light regulates specific neuronal functions and is neuroprotective in animal models of Parkinson’s disease.


PBM was shown to be a safe and potentially effective treatment for a range of clinical signs and symptoms of PD. Improvements were maintained for as long as treatment continued, for up to one year in a neurodegenerative disease where decline is typically expected.

Brain Photobiomodulation Therapy

Because neural tissues contain large amounts of mitochondrial CCO, application of red to NIR lights (600–850) for brain PBM therapy is highly attractive. [...] The authors conclude that clinic or home-based PBM therapy using laser or LED devices will become one of the most promising strategies for neurorehabilitation in upcoming years.

Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation

Brain disorders including TBI, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease, and stroke could be benefited by IR-induced ATP synthesis, growth factor production, anti-inflammatory effects and anti-apoptosis.


Remote application of PBM was shown to be an effective treatment for a number of clinical signs of PD, with some being maintained for 45 weeks, despite lockdown restrictions.

Parkinson's In Rats

When delivered at the appropriate power, delivery mode, and dosage, NIr treatment provided both improved behavior and neuroprotection in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Parkinson's Disease

Mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress have been considered as major causes and central events responsible for the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in PD.

Parkinson's In Monkeys

Our findings indicate NIr to be an effective therapeutic agent in a primate model of the disease.

Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation

It was proposed that IR laser treatment could inhibit neurodegenerative symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

To receive the maximum benefits of red light therapy for Parkinson's, it is recommended to follow these treatment protocols:

Follow a consistent treatment schedule: Red light therapy works best when used consistently over a period of time. Aim for daily treatments or as advised by your healthcare provider.

Positioning: To be effective for pain management, the light source should be as close to the skin as possible for deep tissue penetration. A wrap/ belt product provides significant advantages over panels.

Use On Your Stomach & Neck: For Parkinson's, it is recommended to use the device twice daily. 1x on your stomach so the healing light reaches your gut, and 1x on the back of your neck to stimulate the nervous system.

Be patient and persistent: Red light therapy takes time to show its effects, so it's important to be patient and persistent with your treatments. Results may vary depending on individual factors and overall health condition. For Parkinson's treatment, you can expect to experience significant benefits after 10-12 weeks.

Experience the benefits: Clinical trials and customers have reported benefits of better balance, movement skills and control, as well as improved digestion, sleep and sense of smell. Additionally, red light therapy helps to relieve pain and brain fog.

Side Effects & Risks

Red light therapy is considered safe to use, especially for older adults. It has virtually no risks or serious side effects.


Some people with light or skin sensitivities may experience mild side effects like skin irritation. These side effects are typically mild and temporary and should subside within a few hours of treatment.


To ensure the safety and effectiveness of red light therapy, it is crucial to choose FDA-approved devices. FDA approval indicates that the device has undergone rigorous testing and meets certain standards for safety and performance.


While red light therapy for Parkinson's is still in the early stages of exploration, the promising results from animal models and small-scale trials underscore its potential as a revolutionary treatment option. While red light therapy can not heal Parkinson's, addressing mitochondrial dysfunction, combating cellular energy loss, and influencing neurotransmitter production are critical steps in managing symptoms of Parkinson's disease. 


Since there are no negative side effects to the therapy, it's worth for Parkinson's patients to explore red light therapy as a potential solution to improve your quality of life, despite that fact that more research needs to be done.

Targeted Treatment For Specific Areas

While red light therapy proves to be highly effective, not all red light therapy devices are created equal. Pads are designed to target specific areas of the body, while panels emit light over a much broader area.


Red light therapy for this condition requires deep penetration, which is why a red light therapy belt is far more effective than a red light therapy panel. You can put a red light therapy belt closer to your skin, and don’t have to stand bare naked in front of a panel for 20 minutes.


By focusing the therapy on specific areas, you maximize its benefits outlined above and reduce pain more effectively.


Consistency is one of the most important variables to the effectiveness of red light therapy when it comes to pain relief, so ease of use should be a major criteria for consideration. Red light therapy belts are convenient and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. They are portable, which means you can wear them while pursuing other activities, or even take them on your next trip.

Choosing the Right Red Light Therapy Device

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a red light therapy device to relieve chronic pain:

FDA Approval: Look for devices that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness.

Wavelength of Light: Consider devices that emit a combination of red and near-infrared light, as these wavelengths have been shown to be most effective in reducing pain and inflammation.

Ease of Use: Look for devices that are user-friendly, easy to operate, and come with clear instructions for use.

Treatment Protocols and Frequency: Consider devices that offer recommended treatment protocols and frequency guidelines based on scientific research and clinical studies.

Cost: Compare the cost of different red light therapy devices and consider your budget. Keep in mind that medical-grade devices may be more expensive but can offer better results.

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