How to help your doctor

I’ve had a number of people tell me that conversations with their GP or specialist about red and near infrared lights haven’t gone well. One chap took his newly-made Eliza to show his neurologist, who roared with laughter and said that it would be very handy at Christmas.

I remember my reaction when patients brought in newspaper clippings about the latest and greatest cure for something – I’d keep a smile on my face and inwardly groan.

If you are getting less than supportive noises from your doctors, don’t get cranky with them, because they are trying to protect you. There are lots of charlatans and snake oil merchants out there, and people with chronic diseases are easy targets. They are worried that you and your family are going to be taken in by costly rubbish. If you read about the beginnings of my learning about red lights, here, you’ll see that I was also very skeptical.

So what can you do?

You can download a copy of this article and take to your doctor:

Why and how does light therapy offer neuroprotection in Parkinson’s disease?

This article is by Prof John Mitrofanis from University of Sydney and published in April 2017. And it is only two pages long.

The article goes through the research to date:

  1. red & near infrared light has been clearly shown to protect neurons and improve function in animals with induced Parkinson’s disease. more and more
  2. protecting the neurons is the BIG finding – red light will stop the neurons from dying. more
  3. why red & near infrared light can do this is fascinating – and probably related to our evolution
  4. how red & near infrared light protect the neurons is equally fascinating and work in progress. In summary…
    • The direct effect:
      • red & near infrared light acts on the cell’s power source, the mitochondria. more
      • by boosting the mitochondria’s energy supply, the mitochondria then kickstart a bunch of protective activities within the neuron. more
    • The indirect effect
      • this is not covered in detail in the article, but is very important.
  5. The last sentence says: “As it stands, light therapy in the experimental settings has been shown to both protect and rescue neurons from degeneration after parkinsonian injury, something that current therapies in patients do not do; that in itself should be an incentive for trial in the clinical setting.”

Because this article focusses only on the results of animal research, it does not cover the experiences of people using Eliza light hats and other light hat devices. In truth, no-one really thought that shining a light on a head would do anything apart from make everyone laugh. Surely red light couldn’t penetrate the skull, and even if it did, surely it wouldn’t reach the problem area in Parkinson’s. more

But, to everyone’s amazement, mine included, red lights on the head can and do have a positive effect on Parkinson’s symptoms. And it is safe, and worth trying asap.

To get light onto your head, or onto the head of a friend or family member with Parksinon’s, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Buy the cheapest 5 metre roll of 12v red LED lights, a bucket and follow the instructions to make your own. Then get it on your head daily. more

And then keep checking this blog, as it will bring more research findings and more ideas for improving light exposure.

Author: RedlightsontheBrain

Redlightsonthebrain is written by Catherine, a retired doctor on behalf of Light Ahead Inc, a Tasmanian-based not-for-profit organisation. Light Ahead Inc aims to help people to learn about neurogenerative diseases and the practical, safe and scientifically-based things that may be able to help. Part of this is to provide low-cost access to red light devices, hence the DIY instructions on this blog.