I can understand the skepticism about the biological effect of red lights, because that’s where I started from. It seemed too good to be true. However, there is a wealth of excellent quality research out there, and the evidence is compelling that red and near infrared lights protect existing neurones, and can stimulate new neurones to be created, stimulate blood vessels to increase connections- neuroprotection, neurogenesis and angiogenesis.Continue reading “It really does work…”
When I went to medical school, the belief was that you got your full quota of brain cells at birth. It was downhill from there, and you entered old age with not many brain cells left.
What a joy it is to know that this belief is a load of rubbish.
Here is a great article, summarising recent research on the birth of new brain cells during our lives.
It is a reminder that you use your brain or you lose it, so lifelong learning stimulates the birth of new brain cells.
I can recommend learning a musical instrument – you can do it at any age. Making music on your own instrument really makes your brain work, whether you are a beginner or an old hand at it.
Prof John Mitrofanis gave an excellent presentation today to clinicians at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
He took the audience through the ten plus years of research into red lights and Parkinson’s in animal models.Continue reading “Red lights preserve brain cells…and make more of ‘em”
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.
I’ve been answering a lot of emails from people who have recently read about the red/near infrared lights and Parkinson’s disease.
The stories have given hope, and justifiably so, as the case reports have shown that red and near infrared light can help PD symptoms.
But expectations must match the reality of red and near increased lights.
Red and near infrared light will NOT cure Parkinson’s disease.
Red lights will not magically return people to their previously healthy selves.
Red lights will not take the place of PD medication.
Red lights will not create immediate improvements.
In different people, depending on the degree of the disease and their general health, the lights will have variable effects. These effects occur slowly and subtly over time.
Any improvements, however small are worth having, but they do not occur speedily nor dramatically.
I would ask that you temper your expectations.
Maintain hope, but do not expect miracles for you will be disappointed.
Three years ago, I would have said that if you have had PD for a long time, then using a red light hat may help a bit. That comment was based on two things: Continue reading “If you’ve had Parkinson’s disease for many years, will red lights help?”