In the time since the initial designs for integrating pulsed near-infrared light with EEG biofeedback were developed, there have been advances in both EEG and pNIR technology. This presentation will evaluate how applying closed-loop principles to the communication paradigm between brain and light source have increased the potential for more nuanced clinical neuromodulation paradigms.
The basis for this talk will be the dynamics involved when directly integrating pulsed near-infrared light into neurofeedback designs which modulate the delivery of the pulsed NIR based on changes in selected EEG metrics. Used as an adjunctive intervention, photobiomodulation devices have historically been standalone methods, delivering pre-set pulses for selected amounts of time in a separate context from neurofeedback.
One example of this technology is the Vielight Neuro headset. The first instrument of its kind, the VieLight is a transcranial-intranasal near infrared light (NIR) photobiomodulation device, delivering pulsed NIR with light emitting diodes (LEDs) at a wavelength of 810 nm, which has been documented as the infrared wavelength with the highest skin penetration profile (Rojas, 2013). Delivering the near-infrared light in pulses, instead of as a continuous exposure, addresses concerns regarding thermal effects on biological tissue (Ando, 2011).
Making the Vielight stimulation contingent on EEG behavior creates a framework in which the pulsed light becomes an explicit feedback element, an entirely novel application pairing its documented enhancement of BDNF and synaptogenesis (Hennessy, 2017) with unique patented live Z-score neurofeedback designs focusing heavily on supporting neural connectivity (Collura, 2008).
These feedback designs incorporate the Vielight device to deliver NIR at 810 nm, pulsed at rates determined by the clinical analysis of individual qEEG results of each subject within the context of current literature on photobiomodulation. The exposure to these pulses are directly modified by shifts in pre-selected EEG metrics, with paradigms based on changes in power and connectivity in monitored neurophysiological locations compared to a set of database norms.
Early findings in the literature indicate photobiomodulation has significant clinical potential in the treatment of a number of brain based disorders, including, but not limited to, traumatic brain injury (Henderson, 2016), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (Johnstone, 2015), improving executive function (Barrett, 2013), memory (Rojas, 2012), stroke and developmental disorders (Hamblin, 2016), and depression (Cassano, 2015). A meta-analysis of articles examining the link between photobiomodulation and biological processes such as metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress and neurogenesis suggest these processes are potentially effective targets for photobiomodulation to treat depression and brain injury. It also suggests there is preliminary clinical evidence suggesting the efficacy of photobiomodulation in treating major depressive disorder, comorbid anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation (Cassano, 2016).
Updated versions of the Vielight Neuro headset line offer more complex photobiomodulation design options, and this presentation will examine the clinical relevance of more advanced frequency-based and locational targeting.
Collected data with pre and post qEEG analysis will be presented, and the practical significance of including photobiomodulation as an element of feedback within the neurofeedback paradigm itself will be discussed.
Presented by: Penijean Gracefire