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Topic Title: Laser Light Therapy works?
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Created On: 04/04/2007 08:42 AM
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 04/04/2007 08:42 AM
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Posts: 29
Joined: 12/03/2002

I got this letter from a Laser light advocate the other day:
Dear Dr. Rassman
"I’m getting a little tired of doctors saying there are no studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of LLLT on hair regrowth. They need simply do a medline search. A recent study of alopecia areata using intra-subject controls found regrowth on over 90% of the treatment bald spots and 0% regrowth on the control spots. Granted, they don’t understand why and the positive results come from studies using 308nm xenon-chloride excimer lasers to 904nm pulsed diode lasers. The doctors thaat don’t understand the significance of these results simply don’t understand experimental design.

Remember the birth defects from thalidimide that doctors endorsed and prescribed? Recall 20 years ago doctors said megadoses of vitamin C did nothing. Sometimes doctors are wrong and sometimes they are right, but opinions from individuals who have not read the research are of no value."


As I’ve said, the medical field is often referred to as the “practice” of medicine and not “science” of medicine. Thus, sometimes doctors do not know why certain treatments work and sometimes they are wrong in prescribing a treatment.

With respect to lasers, you can approach it from either a scientific perspective or a capitalistic perspective. From a scientific perspective, you mention a very important bullet point: the “experimental design”. Look behind the research method and the sponsors of said research and you may find conflicting sources of interest. With respect to the capitalistic perspective, it boils down to making money. It sounds harmless and it may be worth a try to many individuals, especially with these research papers, but you also forget how many research papers have gone scrutinized (as your thalidomide example). Research papers endorsed medications such as Celebrex (COX2 inhibitors), but in recent years controversy arose from risks associated with heart attacks.

You are correct in stating that sometimes doctors are wrong, but sometimes research papers are wrong. You can see this as a stalemate. You can see it as buyer beware. We all have choices and opinions.
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