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The Beginning

Constant knee pain makes it hard to be active, so in mid 2015, I did a lot of sitting and reading. One of the books was Norman Doidge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing.

Chapter 4 covered the effect of red and near infrared light on the brain and spinal cord, and there were some remarkable stories told. In passing, Doidge mentioned the positive effect of red and near infrared light on arthritic joints and damaged tendons.

I went hunting on Google Scholar and found some medical journal articles that Continue reading “The Beginning”

Diagnosing Parkinson’s

Brian Sherman

This is a wonderfully written description of the difficulties that Parkinson’s disease can present. It can be debilitating, sneaky, and extremely hard to diagnose with certainty.

This story, from The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age describes the confusing symptoms of the early years, the procession of varying medical opinions and, too familiar to many, the sheer misery PD can inflict.

The light hat isn’t helping my PD…

One of the problems of writing a blog, I’m finding, is that people are keen to share good news, but they are not so keen to share not so good news, or even no news. I’m guessing that there are people out there who can relate to this.

Let’s say that you have Parkinson’s, you have made yourself a light hat, and you have been wearing it every day for 20-30 minutes. You have a lot of hope.

A month down the track and nothing seems to have changed. You are feeling a bit fed up with the red light caper, and sick of the jokes that others make about it.

Another month goes past and you are sure that you’ve had no response from the lights. Are the red lights a load of hooey? Continue reading “The light hat isn’t helping my PD…”

12 Volts DC

Be safe. Make only 12 volt light devices.

Just in case you have an urge to build an Eliza using 240 volts, then DON’T.

Light hats made with 12 Volt Direct Current work well. They are safe to make and use at home.

12 Volts is a safe way for us all to make and use light devices at home.

Remember the Goldilocks Effect. More power is not going to help, and if you start playing with 240 volts you are entering dangerous territory.

DO

  • Make 12 volt DC light devices
  • Use it daily
  • Email me through the blog and tell me how you are going

DON’T

  • Try using higher voltages

Red light definitions

Explains LLLT, Photobiomodulation and PBM.

You will have come across the various names for the use of red and near infrared lights. Michael Hamblin, one of the lead researchers in the area, has summarised the terminology changes beautifully in a recent article called (somewhat dauntingly) Mechanisms and Mitochondrial Redox Signalling in Photobiomodulation. Click here to read the full article.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

Almost 50 years ago in Hungary, Endre Mester found by accident, that a low power red laser noticeably improved wound healing.

It was initially thought that light delivered by a laser was the key factor in the wound healing, and so the term Low Level Laser Therapy, abbreviated to LLLT, was developed.

If you put “LLLT” in your favourite search engine, you’ll find a lot of references will pop up.

Continue reading “Red light definitions”

Neuroinflammation vs Neurodegeneration

I’ve been reading an interesting 2016 review article called Cytokine networks in neuroinflammation.*

Click here for the abstract.

Some of the differences between neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration are beautifully explained. Both diagrams come from this article.

Background

Cells in our body and brain produce cytokines, small proteins that are powerful and wilful little beasties. They provide a very effective means of cell communication, and can “orchestrate complex multicellular behaviour”.

Over 300 different cytokines have been identified, but some of them have shown that in one situation they will behave in one way, but in another situation the same cytokine will do the complete opposite.

Cytokines are part of the body and brain’s response to something going wrong. But cytokines themselves can go haywire (called cytokine network dysfunction or dysregulation) and set up and maintain cascades of activity that can ultimately cause harm to the tissue.

Continue reading “Neuroinflammation vs Neurodegeneration”

Questions about red lights

I watched a lecture by Prof Michael Hamblin, of Harvard University. He is one of the most respected researchers into the use of red and near infrared light. The lecture is behind a paywall, so I can’t give a link to it, alas.

His last slide had a series of questions – things that we don’t yet know.

  1. What are the diseases and conditions that are most responsive to light?
  2. How important is it for light to penetrate into the brain?
  3. What are the effects on other parts of the body (the parts not receiving the red light)? Continue reading “Questions about red lights”

Public lectures in Melbourne – 1 July 2018

If you live close to Melbourne, you have a rare opportunity to hear two excellent lectures about the effects of red light on the head* for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Who are the speakers:

Prof John Mitrofanis, University of Sydney and Prof Liisa Laakso, Griffith University

What are they talking about:

Prof John is giving an update on case studies of people with Parkinson’s Disease using red light hats on a daily basis.

Prof Liisa is presenting recent research evidence on the effects of red light in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

When:

Sunday 1st July, 2018

9.00 – 9.45 am – Prof Liisa

9.45 -10.30 am – Prof John

Where:

Workshop 1 & 2,

The Larwill Studio, Art Series Hotels, 48 Flemington Road, Parkville, Vic 3052. Map

Cost:

These two lectures are free to the public, but you will need to book as numbers are limited.

Book your seat:

Email: natalie.amla@outlook.com

Background:

These two public presentations have been coordinated by the Australian Medical Laser Association, AMLA, and is part of a two day conference called Photobiomodulation Therapy.

*The official term for red light on the head is PBMt, shorthand for trans-cranial photobiomodulation.