Meeting Dr. Kahn
He looked at us with sharp, intelligent eyes. At 89 years of age, he was still working.
Although I was a bit nervous too meet him, I think I was able to hide it.
I first read about Dr. Kahn in one of Norman Doidge’s books, in which I learned about his pioneering work and leadership in what is called laser therapy.
A vascular surgeon by training, Dr. Kahn is the founder, President and CEO of Meditech International, a company specialized in low-level laser therapy (LLLT).
Besides his executive function, Dr. Kahn continues to conduct intensive research, also relating to traumatic brain injuries (like stroke) and other neurological impediments. When we got to meet him, we asked away and got to learn more about his work.
How does low-level laser therapy work?
Low-intensity laser (or photobiomodulation in technical terms) therapy stimulates healing while using low intensity levels of light. This is in contrast to lasers used in surgery, which are of a much higher intensity.
According to a 2016 paper, “there are several contributing processes that have been proposed to lead to the beneficial effects of photobiomodulation in treating traumatic brain injury and stroke such as stimulation of neurogenesis, a decrease in inflammation, and neuroprotection” (1)
“Photobiomodulation therapy is defined as the utilization of non-ionizing photonic energy to trigger photochemical changes within cellular structures that are receptive to photons, particularly mitochondria.
At the cellular level, visible red and near infrared light energy are absorbed by mitochondria, which perform the function of producing cellular energy called “ATP”. The key to this entire process is a mitochondrial enzyme called cytochrome oxidase c, a chromophore, which accepts photonic energy of specific wavelengths when functioning below par.”
Several case studies in humans have shown improved cognition in patients with chronic mild traumatic brain injury.
Is low-level laser therapy safe?
LLLT is a safe and non-invasive method, which is why it has recently attracted the attention of many researchers. It is, in fact, a “light therapy”.
And this is what brings me to Canada and the United States: to visit laser manufacturers.
Why? Because we are purchasing a low-level laser for our Brain.rehab center, which is going to open in the Netherlands in 2019. We think stroke survivors and TBI need modern tools in order to recover, and laser therapy will be one such safe and effective tool.
Me and Arjan have just completed a course in low-level laser therapy in Toronto.
I will keep you updated as we visit the next city on this trip: New York!
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