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.

Elizas can be tweaked to suit

Here is a recently constructed Eliza, and a very fine job, too.

The standard design didn’t work for the head and neck of the new user. So the enterprising Eliza-maker did some creative tweaking to make it work.

If it is not comfortable, then don’t be afraid to tweak your Eliza.

Red lights and sleep

We have had multiple separate reports about sleep improvements (usually from spouses) and there is an exciting consistency in these reports.

We are getting more reports about improvement in sleep for people with Parkinson’s Disease using red lights on a daily basis.

One Eliza-user has given permission for me to quote his wife’s description:

I have noticed a vast improvement in his sleep. Prior to him starting the light therapy, he was having very restless sleep at night. He was suffering insomnia and he often lashed out in very jerky uncontrolled movements during sleep. He now sleeps very soundly and the sudden uncontrolled movements have stopped completely. As a result he has more energy during the day.

We are particularly thrilled about his improved sleep as this not only impacted on him but also on me. His medication has not changed at all.”

REM sleep disorder is a well-known part of the Parkinson’s Disease progression; it is very disruptive and distressing for the individual and partner. It seems that the red lights have an effect on REM sleep, and somehow sooth it.

We have had multiple separate reports about sleep improvements (usually from spouses) and there is an exciting consistency in these reports. A soothing sleep is good for all.

 

Why have one Eliza when you can have two?

Life is full of revelations. In my case, this revelation is a slow realisation of the blatantly obvious.

I’ve been fretting over the instructions for a two-wavelength Eliza. These instructions will involve soldering and flash stuff like that. It’s OK for those who solder for pleasure, and who are at one with the finer points of electrical connections, but most Eliza-makers are happy to avoid unnecessary complications.

So, applying the KISS (keep it simple, stupid), I offer this pronouncement:

Make two Elizas (or Daffodils), one with the ~670nm LED strip and the other with a longer wavelength. While 810nm is the fashionable one, it has been difficult to get, whereas 850nm is much easier to find.

Then use the two light hats in sequence, one immediately following the other. I tend to use the ~670nm first, then the longer wavelength second. I’m not sure that it makes much difference which goes first, as long as one quickly follows the other.

The Goldilocks Effect…less is more.

I’ve had a few queries about using high powered LEDs, the logic being that if low powered LED strips can improve the health of neurons, then lots of low powered LEDs or high powered LEDs will do a better job. If only it were that simple…

Prof John Mitrofanis and others have shown very clearly that there is a Goldilocks Effect. They use a more scientific term, but it is the same thing.

1. Too little red/near-infrared light doesn’t do very much at all.

2. Too much red/near-infrared light can cause problems for the neurons.

3. The just-right amount of red/near-infrared light is perfect.

Prof John and his team have been able to define the “just-right” dose at the neuronal level in mice. But we have no such knowledge for humans. So we have to be cautious. Very cautious.

So, please don’t use high powered LEDs. Start at a low level of red light exposure, as we have done.

Remember that we are at the very beginning of understanding of trans-cranial lights. There continues to be wonderful research work being done and as it appears, I’ll let you know if and how this changes the approach to DIY light hats.

What I do know at this stage is: Less Is More.

Daffodil vs Eliza light hats

It is wonderful to hear about more Eliza light hats being made out of buckets. Those buckets sure are useful things.

I’ve heard from two people who are using plant pots. I did try using plant pots early on in my experiments, but the ones I bought had sloped or curved sides and I found it difficult to secure the LED strip without contorting it into a place it didn’t really want to be. However, others have been more successful, which is wonderful.

I had serious discussions with the first person to create a light hat from a plant pot.The topic was the appropriate name for the plant-pot-based light hat.

It clearly could not be Eliza because there was no bucket involved.

We agreed on Daffodil.

Click here for instructions to make your own Eliza light hat (or Daffodil)

Click here for information about tracking your progress.