Who should get the credit?

The original research grant application would have seemed odd – to shine red lights on mice. But look what that research has given us.

With all the media attention on red and near infrared lights, let’s celebrate the people who meticulously documented the effects of red and near infrared light.

Professor John Mitrofanis, University of Sydney.

Prof John has been the driver – he recognised that the problem in Parkinson’s Disease was cell battery malfunction – the mitochondria.

The first paper describing the effect of red light on Parkinsonism mice was published in 2010, nine years ago. The animal evidence was convincing way back then.Prof John had superb research colleagues:


Professor Jonathan Stone

Dr Nabil El Massri

Dr Cassandra Peoples

Dr Daniel Johnstone

Dr Victoria Shaw


Professor Alim-Louis Benabid

Dr Cecile Moro

Dr Napoleon Torres

Mr Claude Chabrol

Dr Florian Reinhart


Dr Gary Baker

Professor Glen Jeffery

Meanwhile, Australian clinicians had been quietly and effectively documenting the value of red laser lights.

Dr Ann Liebert

Dr Roberta Chow

Dr Liisa Laaksa


In Tasmania, Chris Lacey read about red lights and quietly set about understanding more. He has been an impressive advocate, and has made his home available to many people to use red lights.

When Catherine started making red light devices, many people gave practical help:

David Hamilton

Michael Richards

Shirley Allen

Ron Brown

Roger Perkins

David and Helen Fitzgerald

Dr Frank Nicklason who saw the improvements associated with daily red light use.

Dr Michael Fox, a general practitioner, has been a quiet pioneer.

Then all the people who used the Eliza bucket lights – I’d like to name them all but most are not keen on publicity.


Olivia at Parkinsons South Australia saw the potential and ensured that Dr Ann Liebert’s research program was extended to Adelaide.

So many people have been involved and each person made a difference.

It all goes back to science. Australia leads in so many areas of science. It must be supported and valued. And scientists should be trusted.

The original research proposal would have looked very odd – to shine red lights on mice.

But look what that has given us.

Author: RedlightsontheBrain

Redlightsonthebrain is written by Catherine Hamilton, 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. All sales of the Coronet red light device support the work of Light Ahead Inc.

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