31 August 2022 | Dr Ann Liebert, a researcher at Sydney Adventist Hospital in Sydney, Australia, recently won a Rosalind Franklin Society Award in Science for her paper showing that light therapy is effective in reducing clinical signs of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

According to Adventist Record, the Rosalind Franklin Society Award in Science recognises a published scientific paper by a female researcher and is considered to be prestigious.

Liebert’s paper, “Remote Photobiomodulation Treatment for the Clinical Signs of Parkinson’s Disease: A Case Series Conducted During COVID-19,” shows the mechanism of remote photobiomodulation (PBM) to combat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The article was first published in the journal Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery in 2021. Her Sydney-based trial was held at Sydney Adventist Hospital’s Photobiomodulation Therapy Clinic and involved participants treated with PBM to the abdomen and neck three times per week for 12 weeks.

The mobility, balance, cognition, fine motor skill, and sense of smell of subjects were monitored. According to Adventist Record, various “clinical signs of PD were shown to be improved by remote PBM treatment, including mobility, cognition, dynamic balance, spiral test and sense of smell.”

“Our study shows PBM was shown to be a safe and potentially effective treatment for a range of clinical signs and symptoms of PD,” said Liebert. “Improvements were maintained for as long as treatment continued, for up to one year in a neurodegenerative disease where decline is typically expected. No other treatment has achieved this.”

“The 21st century in its first two decades has brought an overwhelming productivity in science, engineering, and technology to our global society,” said Rita R. Colwell, PhD, President of the Rosalind Franklin Society, Director, National Science Foundation (1998–2004), Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Chair and Founder, CosmosID, according to the Rosalind Franklin Society (RFS) website.

Colwell goes on to explain the significance of the RFS Awards in Science:

“What has been lacking, however, is the recognition of those who have contributed to these rapidly evolving human accomplishments—namely the underrecognized hence underappreciated scientists, engineers, physicians, and technical workers who are not white males, yet are making powerful discoveries and contributing to many interdisciplinary connections.”

Photo credit: Adventist Record

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