Light Therapy for Veterans


Chad Forbes, Ph.D. Photography by Jultmartin Eugene

Light Therapy for Veterans

Few, if any, treatment options are available for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) — researchers at FAU want to change that.

Chad Forbes, Ph.D., is the principal investigator on a new $25,000 pilot grant funded by I-Health. In collaboration with three additional FAU researchers, the team will examine the effects of laser-light therapy on brain function in veterans who have suffered a mild TBI.

“One of the hallmark consequences of a TBI is inflammation, or swelling in the brain,” Forbes said. “And one hypothesis is that swelling affects a lot of cognitive function and brain function, but we still don’t really understand how.”

So, Forbes and his team want to determine if repeated exposure of this near infrared light at a certain frequency could reduce that inflammation. At the same time, they’ll be collecting data on the brain network during higher-order cognitive processes, such as “figuring out a really tough math problem,” Forbes added.

The other team members on the grant include:

Beth Pratt, Ph.D., assistant professor, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, faculty fellow, I-Health, and associate investigator, Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (CPAWW)

Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, Ph.D., interim associate dean for nursing research and scholarship, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, faculty fellow, Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention, and director of CPAWW

Behnaz Ghoraani, Ph.D., associate professor, College of Engineering and Computer Science, faculty fellow, Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering

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