Margaret A. Naeser, PhD

Research Professor, Neurology

Margaret Naeser
75 E. Newton St Evans Building


Margaret A. Naeser, Ph.D., Lic.Ac. is Research Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine and Research Linguist/Speech-Language Pathologist, V.A. Boston Healthcare System. She received her B.A. in 1966 from Smith College (German and Zoology, Junior year – University of Hamburg); and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1970 (Linguistics and Communication Disorders). She did Post-Doctoral work from 1970-1972 at UCLA (Linguistics and Neuroanatomy) and California State University in Long Beach, California (Speech-Language Pathology).

She graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture in 1983 and is a licensed acupuncturist in Massachusetts (Dipl.Ac., NCCAOM). In 1985, she was invited by the Shanghai Medical University to exchange research information in stroke and acupuncture. While in China, she studied the use of acupuncture and laser acupuncture in the treatment of paralysis in stroke patients.

In 1982, she was awarded a sabbatical from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Research Service, to complete the second year of acupuncture studies at the New England School of Acupuncture, Watertown, MA. This was approved with the understanding that she would conduct future research on acupuncture to treat paralysis in stroke patients at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System. In 1984, she received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to investigate acupuncture to treat paralysis in stroke patients. Four papers with stroke patients were published, including one on the use of painless, low-level laser light (not needles) to stimulate acupuncture points. In 1985, she lived in Shanghai, China, for two months, where she learned about laser acupuncture to treat paralysis in stroke, at the Shanghai Number One Medical College.

She has written two invited reports for the FDA, and the NIH regarding acupuncture research with neurological disorders: In 1994, the NIH sponsored a conference for the FDA regarding change in the labeling of acupuncture needles from Class III (Investigational) to Class II (Safe). Her topic was, “Acupuncture for the Treatment of Paralysis due to Central Nervous System Damage.” In 1997, the NIH sponsored a Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture. Her topic was, “Neurological Rehabilitation: Acupuncture and Laser Acupuncture to Treat Paralysis in Stroke and Other Paralytic Conditions and Pain in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”

From 1993 to 2001, she conducted laser acupuncture research to treat carpal tunnel syndrome at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System. This project was funded by the American Association for Oriental Medicine. She has published two papers on this research.

Other Positions

  • VA Boston Healthcare System
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, PhD
  • Smith College, BA


  • Published on 10/17/2019

    Naeser MA, Ho MD, Martin PI, Hamblin MR, Koo BB. Increased Functional Connectivity Within Intrinsic Neural Networks in Chronic Stroke Following Treatment with Red/Near-Infrared Transcranial Photobiomodulation: Case Series with Improved Naming in Aphasia. Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2020 Feb; 38(2):115-131. PMID: 31621498.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/10/2017

    Saltmarche AE, Naeser MA, Ho KF, Hamblin MR, Lim L. Significant Improvement in Cognition in Mild to Moderately Severe Dementia Cases Treated with Transcranial Plus Intranasal Photobiomodulation: Case Series Report. Photomed Laser Surg. 2017 Aug; 35(8):432-441. PMID: 28186867.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/2016

    Naeser MA, Martin PI, Ho MD, Krengel MH, Bogdanova Y, Knight JA, Yee MK, Zafonte R, Frazier J, Hamblin MR, Koo BB. Transcranial, Red/Near-Infrared Light-Emitting Diode Therapy to Improve Cognition in Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury. Photomed Laser Surg. 2016 Dec; 34(12):610-626. PMID: 28001756.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/17/2015

    Naeser MA, Hamblin MR. Traumatic Brain Injury: A Major Medical Problem That Could Be Treated Using Transcranial, Red/Near-Infrared LED Photobiomodulation. Photomed Laser Surg. 2015 Sep; 33(9):443-6. PMID: 26280257.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/8/2014

    Naeser MA, Zafonte R, Krengel MH, Martin PI, Frazier J, Hamblin MR, Knight JA, Meehan WP, Baker EH. Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study. J Neurotrauma. 2014 Jun 1; 31(11):1008-17. PMID: 24568233.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2014

    Martin PI, Treglia E, Naeser MA, Ho MD, Baker EH, Martin EG, Bashir S, Pascual-Leone A. Language improvements after TMS plus modified CILT: Pilot, open-protocol study with two, chronic nonfluent aphasia cases. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2014; 32(4):483-505. PMID: 25015701.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/2/2013

    Garcia G, Norise C, Faseyitan O, Naeser MA, Hamilton RH. Utilizing repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve language function in stroke patients with chronic non-fluent aphasia. J Vis Exp. 2013; (77):e50228. PMID: 23852365.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2012

    Naeser MA, Martin PI, Ho M, Treglia E, Kaplan E, Bashir S, Pascual-Leone A. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and aphasia rehabilitation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jan; 93(1 Suppl):S26-34. PMID: 22202188.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/23/2011

    Naeser MA, Martin PI, Theoret H, Kobayashi M, Fregni F, Nicholas M, Tormos JM, Steven MS, Baker EH, Pascual-Leone A. TMS suppression of right pars triangularis, but not pars opercularis, improves naming in aphasia. Brain Lang. 2011 Dec; 119(3):206-13. PMID: 21864891.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/1/2011

    Naeser MA, Hamblin MR. Potential for transcranial laser or LED therapy to treat stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative disease. Photomed Laser Surg. 2011 Jul; 29(7):443-6. PMID: 21728786.

    Read at: PubMed

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