This afternoon researcher Dr Ann Liebert will be presenting early results of the clinical trial she has been running in conjunction with Parkinson’s South Australia. This study looked at the effects of red and near infrared light on people with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Liebert will continue to work with Parkinson’s SA and as well, will start a new study In Parkinson’s patients in Sydney this month.
The initial analysis of the SA study confirms the kinds of improvements we’ve been seeing in people using red and near infrared lights on a daily basis for Parkinson’s.
Dr Liebert has kindly agreed that I can put a summary of the early findings of her clinical trial on the blog.
It is fantastic to see research into this promising area happening in Australia. Prof John Mitrofanis and his team from the University of Sydney were the first to document the huge potential of red and near infrared lights in Parkinson’s disease.
We in Tasmania played around with LED strips, buckets and plastic-coated wire and showed that trans-cranial lights make a difference to people with Parkinson’s. Now Dr Ann Liebert’s clinical trials are helping to confirm and define the changes that red lights make.
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.
I’ve had a few queries about the use of laser lights. I can understand the allure of a laser, as its coherent light with such total focus is pretty impressive.
LED lights used to be very expensive. In the last decade the costs of LEDs have really dropped, and we can now buy them easily and inexpensively. LED lights are not coherent like lasers – the light from the average LED lights scatters and shines over a bigger area.
Question: For lights on the head, are lasers better than LEDs?
Both have their place, but the previous dominance of laser lights is being whittled away by practicality and safety of LED lights.
For trans-cranial use, you want the red lights to scatter – you want coverage of the lights over the head. You also want to use the lights daily, safely and at home.
Lasers are a pain to use, they come with safety issues and they are not suitable for home use.
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.