Friday, July 1, 2022
Mitochondrial Health

Transcranial Photobiomodulation for Autism – Paolo Cassano, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical @Synchrony2020

Transcranial Photobiomodulation Therapy is a safe and feasible treatment approach that has the potential to treat core features of ASD. Further research is necessary and warranted.

Dr. Cassano is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Photobiomodulation at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Division of Neuropsychiatry and at the MGH Depression Clinical and Research Program.

He graduated from the MGH-McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Program in June 2009. Since 2009, he has served as PI on multiple studies on Transcranial Photobiomodulation (tPBM) for several neuropsychiatric disorders –such as major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)– sponsored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD), by the Dupont Warren/Livingston Fellowship from Harvard Medical School and by private companies. These groundbreaking projects ─in collaboration with the MGH Wellman Center for Photomedicine─ have led to very promising results; they have demonstrated preliminary efficacy of near-infrared radiation for the treatment of mood disorders and for ameliorating cognition. Considerable press attention stemmed from these studies, with CNN and Washington Post coverage at the national level.

At the MGH Neuropsychiatry and Neuromodulation lab, he is actively pursuing the identification of biological targets of the effects of tPBM: he has been the PI on a pilot study to investigate the effects of tPBM on cerebral blood flow (Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy – DCS), on brain electrical activity (electroencephalography – EEG), autonomic reactivity (heart rate variability – HRV and skin conductance – SCR) and cognition in healthy subjects.

Dr. Cassano is particularly interested in studying tPBM, as a pro-cognitive intervention, in patients with cognitive impairment and has reported with other groups on the use of tPBM to treat chronic traumatic brain injury and Down Syndrome, as well as to enhance cognition in healthy volunteers.
Dr. Cassano’s research on tPBM is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), by the National Institute of Aging (NIA), by the Alzheimer Association “Part the Cloud” and by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation (UK).

In Nov 2016, he co-founded a neurotech, Niraxx Light Therapeutics Inc., to facilitate the technology transfer from translational research to readily available product for the general public.

#neuromodulation #Transcranial #treatments #therapies #psychiatry #brain

This talk, titled ‘Transcranial Photobiomodulation for ASD: Time for Synchrony between Biotech, Pharma, Venture and Academia’ was part of Synchrony 2020 Online Symposium – ‘From Bench to Biopharma’, organised by the The BRAIN Foundation in partnership with UC Davis MIND Institute and CalTech.

For more Synchrony 2020 talks and highlights:

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Synchrony is the first and only international symposium on translational research in #autism, that brings together academia, #biotech, pharmaceutical companies and #venture partners from around the world with the mission to improve health and quality of life of people with #autismspectrumdisorder.

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The BRAIN Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit. The founders of BRAIN envision a world where every child and adult on the autism spectrum is healthy, participates fully in education and employment, and has a better quality of life. It aims to catalyze research that results in evidence-based interventions for the disabilities associated with autism, and also results in better medical standard of care.

To accomplish this, it funds impactful research through #philanthropy and our network of partners in the venture, corporate, and grassroots community.


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