Lasers for stroke therapy

Saint Louis University has announced that they’re about to begin trials on a laser-based method for treating stroke victims.

Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Saint Louis University, is leading the only clinical trial in St. Louis that looks at an investigational device called the NeuroThera® Laser System to treat ischemic strokes. The study will enroll 660 patients at 50 centers worldwide.

To receive the laser treatment, the head of the patient is shaved. A special swimming cap-type covering put on the head that has openings that show 20 treatment sites where low-level lasers are activated.

Near-infrared light, generated from a laser, is delivered noninvasively for about two minutes to each site, which means the treatment lasts a total of 40 to 60 minutes. The laser treatment is broadly delivered because stroke also affects the tissue surrounding the blockage, Cruz-Flores said.

Is this more laser snake oil or is there really something to shining a low-power laser at the body?

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Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

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