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Photobiomodulation in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03724552
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : October 30, 2018
Last Update Posted : September 2, 2020
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Tolga A Ceranoglu, Massachusetts General Hospital

Brief Summary:

The purpose of this 8-week open-label study is to assess the tolerability, safety, and efficacy of Transcranial LED Therapy in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The investigators propose to enroll up to 30 subjects of both genders ages 18-59 years with intact intellectual functions who meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Participation requires treatment sessions at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) twice weekly for eight weeks, totaling 16 visits. Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes. During the treatment session, the subject will lie down comfortably on an exam bed. Subjects will also be asked to complete a series of self-report questionnaires related to their symptoms and quality of life.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Autism Autism Spectrum Disorder Device: Transcranial LED Therapy Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Evaluation of LED Therapeutic Effect in Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Open-Label Pilot Study of a Novel Approach
Actual Study Start Date : April 13, 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date : August 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date : August 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Transcranial LED Therapy
Transcranial Laser Emitting Diode (LED) Therapy (TLT) is a noninvasive intervention in which near-infrared light (830nm) is applied to forebrain.
Device: Transcranial LED Therapy
Transcranial Laser Emitting Diode (LED) Therapy (TLT) is a noninvasive intervention in which near-infrared light (830nm) is applied to forebrain.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Reduction in ASD Symptoms (SRS) [ Time Frame: Baseline to 8 weeks ]
    Reduction in ASD symptoms as measured by change from baseline on the clinician-rated Social Responsiveness Scale 2 (SRS-2) scale.The SRS-2 identifies social impairment associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders and quantifies its severity across the lifespan. A lower score on the SRS-2 indicates a reduction in ASD symptoms. (Minimum score=0, Maximum score= 195).

  2. Reduction in ASD Symptoms (CGI) [ Time Frame: Baseline to 8 weeks ]
    Reduction in ASD symptoms as measured by change from baseline on the clinician-rated Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Improvement scales. The clinician-rated CGI can make an expert clinical global judgment about the severity of the illness (ASD) across various time points within the context of that clinical experience. A higher score CGI-improvement score indicates more improvement and therefore a reduction in ASD symptoms. (Minimum score=1, Maximum score=7).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 59 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male or female participants between 18 and 59 years of age (inclusive)
  • Fulfills DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder as established by the clinical diagnostic interview.
  • Participants with at least moderately severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms as demonstrated by Social Responsiveness Scale 2 (SRS-2) raw score ≥ 85 and Clinical Global Impression (CGI-ASD) severity score ≥ 4
  • Participants must understand the nature of the study. Participants must sign an IRB- approved informed consent form before initiation of any study procedures.
  • Participants must have a level of understanding sufficient to communicate with the investigator and study coordinator, and to cooperate with all tests and examinations required by the protocol.
  • Participant experiencing a major psychiatric disorder will be allowed to participate in the study provided they do not meet any exclusionary criteria.
  • Women of child-bearing potential must use a double-barrier method for birth control (e.g. condoms with spermicide) if sexually active.
  • The subject is willing to participate in this study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Impaired intellectual capacity (clinically determined)
  • Participant is unable to communicate due to delay in, or total lack of, spoken language development (grossly impaired language skills)
  • Clinically unstable psychiatric conditions or judged to be at serious safety risk to self (suicidal risk) or others (within past 30 days).
  • Subjects currently (within past 30 days) experiencing significant symptoms of major psychiatric disorders as clinically determined.
  • Subjects with an unstable medical condition (that requires clinical attention).
  • Active suicidal or homicidal ideation, as determined by clinical screening.
  • The subject has a significant skin condition at the procedure sites (i.e., hemangioma, scleroderma, psoriasis, rash, open wound or tattoo).
  • The subject has an implant of any kind in the head (e.g. stent, clipped aneurysm, embolised AVM, implantable shunt - Hakim valve).
  • Any use of light-activated drugs (photodynamic therapy) within 14 days prior to study enrollment (in US: Visudine (verteporfin) - for age related macular degeneration; Aminolevulinic Acid- for actinic keratoses; Photofrin (porfimer sodium) - for esophageal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer; Levulan Kerastick (aminolevulinic acid HCl) - for actinic keratosis; 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)- for non-melanoma skin cancer)
  • Current treatment with a psychotropic medication on a dose that has not been stable for at least 4 weeks prior to initiating study treatment.
  • Investigator and his/her immediate family, defined as the investigator's spouse, parent, child, grandparent, or grandchild.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03724552

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Contact: Barbora Hoskova, BA 617-724-7301
Contact: Elizabeth Noyes, BA 617-726-4651

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United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital Recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Contact: Barbora Hoskova, BA    617-724-7301   
Principal Investigator: Tolga A Ceranoglu, MD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
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Principal Investigator: Tolga A Ceranoglu, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
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Responsible Party: Tolga A Ceranoglu, Associate Psychiatrist, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT03724552    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2016P002826
First Posted: October 30, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 2, 2020
Last Verified: August 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: Yes
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No
Keywords provided by Tolga A Ceranoglu, Massachusetts General Hospital:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Autistic Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders