Green Light Therapy Can Augment Traditional Pain Relief Methods

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Mohab Ibrahim, MD., Ph.D
Associate Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology, Neurosurgery, and Pharmacology.
Director, Chronic pain clinic. 
Director, Chronic pain fellowship. 
Medical Director, Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center
Banner-University Medical Center
University of Arizona

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: This study is the continuation of the green light story we first published in 2017. Our first paper in 2017 investigated the effect of green light on pain behavior in animals. This idea was inspired by my brother who suffers from headaches and finds relief in green spaces. My brother’s experience with green spaces inspired me to look initially into green light therapy for pain in rodents which resulted in our first publication in 2017.  Because green light therapy decreased pain behavior in animals coupled with the safety profile of green light (we use low-intensity green light), we obtained approval from the University of Arizona to conduct human trials. This has resulted in two clinical trial papers that were recently published.

We have shown that green light exposure decreased the severity of pain in patients with fibromyalgia and also decreased the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches in migraine patients. At this point, we wanted to explore the mechanism(s) of action and explain how green light works. We had some preliminary data from our initial publications pointing towards the endogenous opioid system. Therefore, we decided to explore the endogenous opioid system in more detail in the HIV-induced neuropathy model in rodents. Our findings indicate that green light reversed hypersensitivity in a model of HIV-related neuropathy in rodents by stimulating the endogenous opioid system. Green light exposure significantly increased the CSF levels of β-endorphin and proenkephalin, but not dynorphin. The µ- and δ-opioid receptors appeared to be key actors in green light-induced antinociception. 


PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Chronic pain is a complicated medical condition with several dimensions. Chronic pain may affect sleep quality, life quality, and may result in depression.

The management of chronic pain requires a deep appreciation of the factors involved and necessitates the evaluation of a pain specialist and the collaboration of several medical specialists.

Non-pharmacological methods can be used to complement current pharmacological and procedural interventions to control pain.

Color and light therapy are still in their infancy and we still need to learn more about them. More research and more funding are needed to better understand the biological

Green light therapy can augment current traditional methods to control pain.

If you live in an area with trees or forests, you can enjoy free green light therapy while walking and exercising. It’s a win-win situation.

PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We and other labs have shown that different colors of light have biological effects. It’s important that we start looking at new indications for light therapy as well as mechanisms of action. Light therapy is relatively a new field and there may be some or a lot of skepticism in the scientific community about its benefits. It may be time to start thinking about organizing regional/national annual meetings focused on the medical benefits of light therapy. This type of meeting will foster collaborations among physicians and scientists and attract more attention and interest in this field.

Finally, looking at the financial burden secondary to the price and cost of medications and the side effects associated with some of these interventions, light therapy may offer a safer complementary tool that is more affordable and has fewer side effects than a significant number of medications. While light therapy may not replace traditional medications, it may decrease the amount of medications needed.

PainRelief.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Even though green light therapy is easy to do and relatively safe, I advise anyone who wishes to try it to consult their physicians first. Some medical conditions may not be suitable for extended visual light exposure. Always check with your doctor before you start any new therapy. Also, please do not stop ANY medication you are on without consulting with your physician first. Some medications should not be stopped abruptly.

Finally, as a disclosure, I have a patent for the green light therapy, and it is currently being commercialized.

Citation:

Laurent F. Martin, Aubin Moutal, Kevin Cheng, Stephanie M. Washington, Hugo Calligaro, Vasudha Goel, Tracy Kranz, Tally M. Largent-Milnes, Rajesh Khanna, Amol Patwardhan, Mohab M. Ibrahim,

Green light antinociceptive and reversal of thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity effects rely on endogenous opioid system stimulation,

The Journal of Pain, 2021,

The information on PainRelief.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

Infused VYEPTI Provided Pain Relief When Initiated During a Migraine Attack

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Roger Cady, MD
VP Neurology
Lundbeck Pharmaceutical
La Jolla Research Center
San Diego, CA 92121

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study? 

Response: The RELIEF study evaluated how preventive migraine candidates may benefit from a VYEPTI infusion during an active migraine attack when administered within 1 to 6 hours of a moderate to severe migraine attack. VYEPTI is the first and only intravenous (IV) infusion approved for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults.

Continue reading

Migraine: Galcanezumab (Emgality®) for Pain Relief in Patients with Previous Preventive Medication Failures

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Dulanji K. Kuruppu, MD

Medical Advisor, Migraine & Headache Disorders
US Medical Affairs
Eli Lilly and Company
LTC-South, Indianapolis IN 46221 U.S.A.

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Galcanezumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and is approved for the preventive treatment of migraine and for the treatment of episodic cluster headache in adults. The CONQUER study assessed the efficacy and safety of galcanezumab in 462 adults with episodic or chronic migraine who previously did not benefit from 2 to 4 standard-of-care migraine preventive medication categories. This study consisted of a 3-month double-blind, placebo-controlled period (months 1-3) followed by an open-label period (months 4-6). The primary endpoint, which was the mean change from baseline in the number of monthly migraine headache days for galcanezumab vs placebo over months 1-3, was met. In this post-hoc analysis, we assessed onset of effect of galcanezumab in the CONQUER population.

Continue reading

Aimovig® plus OnabotulinumtoxinA (onabot) For Migraine Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Fred Cohen, MD
Department of Medicine, 
Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, New York

Dr. Fred Cohen

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: OnabotulinumtoxinA (onabot) and calcitonin gene-related peptide monoclonal antibodies (CGRP-targeted mAbs) are two medications used to treat chronic migraine. While both have been shown to significantly reduce monthly headache days, they are some patients that require further treatment after receiving one of these therapies. Prior to this study, there was limited data on the efficacy and safety of concomitant treatment with onabot and a CGRP-targeted mAb. 

Continue reading

Mindfulness Meditation for Migraine Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Rebecca Erwin Wells, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology
UCNS Certified Headache Specialist
Founder and Director of the Comprehensive Headache Program at Wake Forest Baptist
Wake Forest School of Medicine

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

  • Migraine is the second leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Many patients with migraine stop medications because of side effects or ineffectiveness.
  • Many patients with migraine still use opioids despite recommendations against them for headache treatment. 
  • Mindfulness is helpful for many clinical pain conditions.
  • We conducted a pilot study of mindfulness for migraine that demonstrated benefit, so we conducted this larger randomized controlled trial to understand further potential benefit.
Continue reading

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Can Provide Pain Relief from Episodic Migraine

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Neda Gould, PhD
Assistant Professor
Director, Mindfulness Program at Johns Hopkins
Associate Director, Bayview Anxiety Disorders Clinic
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Migraines can be severe and debilitating and many of the current pharmacological treatments have side effects. We were interested in studying the effect of a non-pharmacological intervention (mindfulness meditation) on migraines using various outcomes including brain imaging.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program that has been shown to improve chronic pain. However, the benefits of this program have been modest in migraine patients. We sought to determine if a longer period of mindfulness training and home practice would yield better outcomes in migraine patients.

The traditional MBSR course consists of 8 weekly sessions and a retreat. We enhanced this course to include the 8 weekly sessions and retreat followed by 4 additional biweekly sessions (MBSR +).

We randomized 98 adults with episodic migraine to the MBSR+ group (50 participants) or to a stress management for headache group (SMH, 48 participants). The SMH group included didactic content on stress and other triggers in headaches. Both groups followed a similar format and timing.

All participants completed questionnaires an also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at changes in brain structure and function.

Genetic Differences Distinguish Episodic Versus Chronic Migraine and May Open New Avenues of Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Aliya Yakubova MD
OpenLab “Gene and Cell Technologies”
Institute of Fundamental Medicine, Kazan Federal University
Kazan, Russia

Dr. Yakubova

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Migraine is a common debilitating primary headache disorder with strong socio-economic effects. According to some estimates, migraine is the most costly neurological disease: for example, in the European Union, it costs more than 27 billion euros a year.

In this regard, chronic type of migraine (with more than 15 attacks per month for more than three months) is of special interest. Because of high prevalence and the burden of attacks, it is of great importance to improve diagnostic tools for patient stratification and choosing appropriate treatment strategies of migraine. For this purpose we investigated contribution of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptors to migraine chronification. It is known that these receptors are directly involved in the disease pathogenesis being associated with the release of the key migraine pain mediator, the calcitonin gene – related peptide (CGRP). Moreover, recent studies have suggested that the non-synonymous TRPV1 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 1911A> G (rs8065080), resulting to the substitution of amino acids isoleucine to valine in the protein structure of receptor (Ile585Val), influences functional activity of these receptors in neuropathic pain syndromes. All this together was the starting point of our research in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Eastern Finland.

Continue reading

Study Evaluates Inhaled Cannabis for Pain Relief from Headache and Migraine

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D.
Assistant ProfessorWashington State University
Department of Psychology
Pullman, WA, 99164-4820

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Many people report using cannabis for headache and migraine and claim that it is effective in reducing their symptoms. However, to date there has only been one clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a cannabinoid drug called Nabilone (synthetic THC that is orally administered) on headache. The results of that trial indicated that Nabilone was more effective than ibuprofen in reducing pain and increasing quality of life. There have also been a couple of preclinical (animal) studies suggesting that cannabinoids like THC may be beneficial in the treatment of migraine. But there are surprisingly few studies examining the effectiveness of cannabis, particularly whole plant cannabis rather than synthetic cannabinoids on headache and migraine.

Continue reading

Opioids Frequently Prescribed For Headache Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Richard B. Lipton, M.D.
Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health
Edwin S. Lowe Chair in Neurology
Vice Chair The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology
Director, Montefiore Headache Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study

Response: Almost everyone with migraine takes acute treatments at the time of attacks to relieve pain and restore function.  Acute treatments include over-the-counter medications. prescription drugs and devices.  The most widely used prescription drugs for migraine are triptans (such as sumatriptan and rizatriptan) and NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen and naproxen). 

Richard B. Lipton, M.D. Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health Edwin S. Lowe Chair in Neurology Vice Chair The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology Director, Montefiore Headache Center Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Dr. Lipton

Opioids are not recommended in treatment guidelines as acute treatments for migraine.  Longitudinal studies show that in people with migraine treatment with opioids is associated with dose dependent acceleration of headache frequency and the development of chronic migraine in people with episodic migraine.  The purpose of this study was to determine the relative frequency of opioid use and the characteristics of those who use opioids to treat migraine. The hope is to use this information to develop programs which will encourage guideline compliant treatment.

Acupuncture for Migraine Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Prof. Wei Wang
Department of Neurology,
Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College,
Huazhong University of Science and Technology,
Wuhan, Hubei, P.R. China

acupuncture

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: The burden of migraine is substantial, resulting in considerable economic and social losses. The latest Global Burden of Disease Study showed that 1.25 billion people had migraine in 2017. A significant number of patients are still not responding well to drug therapy, or cannot tolerate the adverse effects of drugs, or have contraindications, which can lead to low medication compliance, headache chronification and acute medication overuse. Prophylactic drugs should be recommended for migraineurs who have at least four headache days per month, but only 13% of patients reported current use of preventive drugs. Besides, ineffectiveness of and/or contraindications to migraine medication affect 10-15% of people with migraine. Hence, a need exists to investigate non-drug interventions.

Previous studies suggest that acupuncture works particularly well on a range of pain disorders. However, clinical evidence for the benefit of manual acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis remains scarce. Appropriate placebo control settings and successful blinding are two critical elements in addressing this challenge. Sham acupuncture involving penetrating needles should be avoided in clinical trials. Previous acupuncture research has often used penetrating sham acupuncture, involving needling non-acupuncture points, needling irrelevant acupuncture points, or superficial needling. However, whether the needle is inserted into an acupuncture point or a non-acupuncture point, it could produce a physiological effect. Comparisons between true acupuncture and sham acupuncture might also be biased by unsuccessful blinding. To ensure an inert placebo control and successful blinding, we recruited acupuncture-naive patients, using non-penetrating sham acupuncture at heterosegmental non-acupuncture points as the control, and designed the same procedures to perform the same rituals as much as possible in the manual and sham acupuncture groups.

Continue reading