Principal Investigator: David Tate
Keywords: Concussion , Sport Related Concussion , MRI , Neuropsychological Function Department: Neurology
IRB Number: 00125438
Specialty: Neurology, Neurology, Neuropsychology
Sub Specialties: Traumatic Brain Injury, Neuroimaging,
Recruitment Status: Recruiting

Contact Information

David Tate

Simple Summary

The objective of this pilot study is to collect preliminary data related to the presumed effects of photobiomodulation (PBM) on brain health, resiliency, and physical and cognitive performance in athletes and Veterans with a history of concussive or sub-concussive head impact exposure. 

Detailed Description

This pilot study aims to collect cognitive, physical, and brain health data before and after eight weeks of light therapy treatments applied to the top of the head and inside the nose from athletes and Veterans with a history of exposure to repeated minor head impacts. Though we will collect a broad range of variables, we will focus on 4 primary outcomes in this pilot study. Secondary analyses could be conducted but would depend on the final sample size and robustness of the data collection. Hypothesis 1: PBM will elicit a measurable therapeutic effect observable in one or more fMRI networks, performance on the continuous performance test, improved sleep, and reduction in pain. Specifically, the facets of Hypothesis 1 are as follows:1A.Following therapy, the default mode network will demonstrate improvements in connectivity metrics, especially for the default mode network. 1B. Following therapy, improvement will be noted for measures of reaction time on the continuous performance test, with faster response times and fewer errors. 1C. Following therapy, improvements in sleep will be noted on the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, including improvements in sleep duration, efficiency, and latency.1D. Following therapy, improvements in pain interference will also be noted on the PROMIS Pain Interference questionnaire. Though we will collect additional data, our plan for this proposal is to initially examine the four main findings outlined above. Significant improvements for these measures will be taken as evidence for the therapeutic benefits of PBM. However, we also propose to examine other measures collected especially if the sample size is sufficient to examine additional variables without over interpretation of the results.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Adults between the ages of 18-65 years
  • Self-reported history of concussion or repetitive subconcussive exposure


Exclusion Criteria

  • History of neurological disease (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, brain tumor, stroke, epilepsy, etc.)
  • History of severe psychiatric disorder (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, dissociative disorder)
  • Contraindication to MRI, including current or possible pregnancy, metal or electronic implants, and claustrophobia




Participant Reimbursement

Not applicable