Margaret A. Naeser, PhD

Research Professor, Neurology

Margaret Naeser
75 E. Newton St Evans Building


Margaret Naeser, PhD, is located at the Boston VA Medical Center, and is Research Professor of Neurology, Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. Since 2009, she has studied the effect of red/near-infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes (LED) placed over the scalp/brain to treat sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI), PTSD, stroke/Aphasia, Dementia, Gulf War Illness, and most recently, retired, Pro-Football players possibly developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). She has a strong interest in neuroplasticity and utilizing transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) to promote neuromodulation for brain recovery. This includes studying changes in functional connectivity on fMRI scans within specific, intrinsic neural networks which are damaged (but not destroyed), in various central nervous system disorders. She has had VA-/ NIH-funded research for over 40 years, with early emphasis on neuroanatomy of stroke location in the brain, on CT/MRI scans in patients who have language problems (Aphasia). She has published research using transcranial magnetic brain stimulation in (rTMS) to improve language in chronic stroke/Aphasia. She has over 100 publications. She is on the editorial board, Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery (PMLS) and Fellow, American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).

Other Positions

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


  • University of Wisconsin Madison, PhD
  • Smith College, BA


  • Published on 1/31/2023

    Naeser MA, Martin PI, Ho MD, Krengel MH, Bogdanova Y, Knight JA, Hamblin MR, Fedoruk AE, Poole LG, Cheng C, Koo B. Transcranial Photobiomodulation Treatment: Significant Improvements in Four Ex-Football Players with Possible Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2023; 7(1):77-105. PMID: 36777329.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/21/2021

    Martin PI, Chao L, Krengel MH, Ho MD, Yee M, Lew R, Knight J, Hamblin MR, Naeser MA. Transcranial Photobiomodulation to Improve Cognition in Gulf War Illness. Front Neurol. 2020; 11:574386. PMID: 33551948.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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

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