Chronic and Acute Pain Studies
Head of laboratory
The study of the use of laser as a therapy for chronic and acute pain has been shown in clinical trials to be effective. Low level laser therapy LLLT offers a non-invasive, non-pharmacological therapy for the treatment of pain with an absence of adverse events. Furthermore, the cost benefit of LLLT has substantial implications for health budgets in the reduction of ongoing, costly medication with serious adverse side effects, for the current “epidemic” of chronic pain.
An NHMRC project grant based on these clinical treatments is exploring the mechanism by which LLLT relieves pain. Our study demonstrates a reversible effect on the microtubule cytoskeleton of sensory nerve cells, decreases in mitochondrial membrane potentials, and the slowing or blocking of fast axonal flow. The study employs cell culture of nerve cells, live cell imaging, immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and skin biopsy examination using a rat model.