J Lasers Med Sci. 2023 Oct 10;14:e41. doi: 10.34172/jlms.2023.41. eCollection 2023.
Introduction: Despite a wide variety of clinical presentations in hereditary Mitochondrial Diseases, muscle fatigue is a common theme and impairs a patient’s quality of life and ability to function. Current treatments are only supportive and include nutritional supplementation and physical therapy. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) using low-intensity, narrow spectrum light in the red/near infrared (NIR) range, from a low-level laser or light-emitting diode sources, enhances mitochondrial function in preclinical and clinical studies on a range of conditions. However, little research has been done on the effectiveness of photobiomodulation in hereditary mitochondrial disorders. Methods: We performed a scoping review of the evidence of the beneficial effects of photobiomodulation for treating the muscle-related symptoms of hereditary mitochondrial disease. Results: No studies regarding photobiomodulation in hereditary mitochondrial disease were identified. However, in other clinical conditions featuring acquired mitochondrial impairment, we identified studies that suggested improved function, although sample sizes were small in number and statistical power. Conclusion: There is emerging evidence of efficacy for PBMT for diseases involving acquired mitochondrial insufficiency. We identified no published research on PBMT in hereditary mitochondrial disease, but this review confirms a theoretical rationale for a positive effect and suggests further research.