Red and near infrared lights – can they help degenerative neurological diseases?
Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the significant causes of people developing dementia. Mostly occuring in older people, it can appear in those of younger ages. The research has been focused on drugs to disrupt the amyloid proteins found in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s, but despite billions of dollars spent on this research, it has proved a costly failure. Red and near infrared lights have much to offer.
I’ve been reading articles suggesting that Alzheimer’s disease is linked with a disruption of brain wave patterns, especially the gamma waves which are predominant in the brain when we are concentrating and focussed.
One group increased gamma wave activity in Alzheimer’s mice by pulsing light. In this research, it wasn’t the light that was of interest to the researchers, it was the pulse rate. They used 40Hz, in the gamma brainwave frequency range.
Here is a great report about that experiment and it’s implications.
…stimulating neurons to produce gamma waves at a frequency of 40 Hz reduces the occurrence and severity of several Alzheimer’s-associated symptoms in a mouse model of the disease.
It seems that pulsing the light does more than enable red light to penetrate more deeply into the brain. Pulsing at 40Hz seems to stimulate the brain’s immune and clean-up cells, the microglia to get cracking with brush and pan.
I have visions of microglial cells dancing to the 40 Hz rhythm as they clear up brain rubbish, including the proteins that accumulate in Alzheimer’s – amyloid and tau.
In 40Hz pulsed red light, the brain gets the benefits of the red light action inside the cells, and the benefits of brain-protection activities stimulated by brainwaves responding at 40Hz.
Fascinating stuff, isn’t it.
Meanwhile, if you are feeling worried that your Eliza or Cossack doesn’t pulse, don’t fret. The daily light dose is doing its work. More.
On the right hand side of the picture, you can see an Eliza bucket light hat, like the one Max Burr now uses.
In the middle you can see what look like coronets. Which is what we call the light device we have designed. It doesn’t have jewels on the outside, but it has fabulous pulsing individual LED lights, all controlled by sophisticated firmware.
Ron is an electronics engineer and he the genius behind this astonishing design.
It is very lightweight – around 125g.
It can be quickly set up to fit different head shapes, large and small.
Each of the eight legs has two rows of individual LED lights, one is 670nm and the other 810nm.
The Coronet has special firmware that allows us to modify key parameters: power – pulse rate – timing – location of the light on the head
It also comes with an app for android phones only (sorry, iOS users), which allows the user to pause and resume a session – see how long here is to go before the session finishes – see the technical details of what the device is doing while you wear it – monitor your own progress using a tremor-test and reaction test.
For Parkinson’s disease, we ensure the settings we think will work the best, based on what the research is currently indicating, for example:
pulsed light is far more effective than continuous red light.
670nm followed immediately by 810nm works better than either alone or both together
We might be biased, but we believe the Coronet to be the most sophisticated light device available now for people with PD to try.
We have nearly sold out our first batch but will be ordering more.
If you would like more information please contact us here.
Transcranial red light can improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms. This article calls for increased recognition of the huge potential of Photobiomodulation as a safe, home-based therapy in neurodegenerative diseases.
The article Exploring the use of transcranial photobiomodulation in Parkinson’s disease patients has just been published in the journal Neural Regeneration Research.
It is based on the work of Dr Frank Nicklason, Dr Catherine Hamilton, Prof John Mitrofanis, Nabil el Massri and David Hamilton.
This article provides a strong argument for faster action in clinical trials. The improvements being experienced and documented by daily light hat users provide convincing and exciting evidence that red lights on the brain do something good. Continue reading “Hot off the press…”
Some of the differences between neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration are beautifully explained. Both diagrams come from this article.
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.