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Photomed Laser Surg. 2012 Sep;30(9):530-5. doi: 10.1089/pho.2012.3248. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Electrophysiological effects of single point transcutaneous 650 and 808 nm laser irradiation of rat sciatic nerve: a study of relevance for low-level laser therapy and laser acupuncture.

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Nerve Research Foundation, Brain and Mind Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate effects of transcutaneous 650 and 808 nm laser irradiation (LI) to a single point overlying rat sciatic nerve; a comparison to four point LI and relevance to the clinical application of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and laser acupuncture (LA).


Transcutaneous LI inhibits somatosensory and motor conduction when delivered to four points overlying sciatic nerve; however, effects of the same total energy delivered to a single point over the nerve, equating to laser acupuncture, are undefined.


Transcutaneous 808 nm, 450 mW, (13.5 or 54 J) continuous wave (cw) mode or 650 nm, 35 mW, (1.1 or 4.4 J), cw LI or sham LI, was applied for 30 or 120 sec to a single point overlying the midpoint of rat sciatic nerve. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) and compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) were then recorded after 10 and 20 min, and after 24 and 48 h.


120 sec of 808 nm LI increased SSEP amplitudes only at 10 min, with no effect of 30 or 120 sec at other time points on SSEPs or on CMAPs. LI 650 nm for 30 or 120 sec did not alter SSEPs or CMAPs at any time point.


Localized transcutaneous 808 LI to a single point overlying sciatic nerve increases SSEP amplitudes when compared with delivery of the same total energy to four points, which causes decreased SSEP amplitudes and conduction block. Therefore, the area and duration of delivery are important, independent variables with implications for clinical delivery of both LLLT and LA.

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