Hot off the press…

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…”

Prof John Mitrofanis presentation

Prof John’s presentation at the recent Melbourne conference covered two areas:

  1. the development of the research into red &near infrared light and Parkinson’s disease; and
  2. the results of recent case-studies of four Tasmanians using Eliza light hats.

I’m not able to post the exact presentation he gave a few weeks ago, but I am able to give you detailed notes that I took on 6 December 2016, when Prof John spoke to the group of people involved in the Eliza activities in Tasmania. These notes cover point (1) above.

The information Prof John covered in point (2) has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and when that article appears, I’ll be able to post it on the blog. That might not be for a few months, so keep watch on the blog. Continue reading “Prof John Mitrofanis presentation”

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.

How to help your doctor

I’ve had a number of people tell me that conversations with their GP or specialist about red and near infrared lights haven’t gone well. One chap took his newly-made Eliza to show his neurologist, who roared with laughter and said that it would be very handy at Christmas.

I remember my reaction when patients brought in newspaper clippings about the latest and greatest cure for something – I’d keep a smile on my face and inwardly groan.

If you are getting less than supportive noises from your doctors, don’t get cranky with them, because they are trying to protect you. There are lots of charlatans and snake oil merchants out there, and people with chronic diseases are easy targets. They are worried that you and your family are going to be taken in by costly rubbish. If you read about the beginnings of my learning about red lights, here, you’ll see that I was also very skeptical.

So what can you do?

Continue reading “How to help your doctor”

Parkinson’s Disease

Professor John Mitrofanis (University of Sydney) and Professor Alim Louis Benabid (CEA-LETI Grenoble University) have been research collaborators for some years now, investigating the effects of near infrared light on the dopamine-producing cells damaged by Parkinson’s Disease.

Benabid developed the original deep brain stimulation implant which has become a standard part of Parkinson’s Disease treatment. The collaboration between Benabid and Mitrofanis aims to develop a near infrared deep brain implant for Parkinson’s Disease. With large financial support from bodies such as the Michael J Fox Foundation, Benabid and Mitrofanis have shown that direct exposure to near infrared light stimulates dopamine-producing neurones to resume normal function, develop new connections and, most excitingly, to create new dopamine-producing cells. Their careful research has led to the development of a near infrared brain implant, soon to be used in clinical trials in France.

Their research team showed very clearly that near infrared light not only has a direct effect on Parkinson’s Disease symptoms, it also has an indirect effect. The helmet study elegantly showed that mice with chemically induced Parkinson’s, with only their bodies (not their heads) exposed to near infrared light improved in mobility and function. This has led the researchers to propose that the indirect effect of near infrared light is most likely transported by the immune cells in the blood stream. Clearly the indirect effect is not as potent as the direct effect, hence their research focus on the deep brain light implant.

In late 2015, our volunteers started “playing” with trans-cranial near infrared light, on the basis that it is able to penetrate through the skin and skull, it is non-invasive (no brain surgery) and it is safe. Our group’s work was not official medical research, but came from the interest of individuals in the rapidly evolving research into the effects of near infrared light on mitochondrial function, and the implications for neurodegenerative disorders.

The test case was a man in his mid seventies with a 7 year history of Parkinson’s Disease. Using 670nm LED strip, a “light hat” was fashioned, and used once daily for 20 minutes. Within a few months of daily light use, his symptoms had improved to the extent that his treating specialist suggested that other patients try it out. The group contacted Prof John Mitrofanis at the University of Sydney; he was interested and supportive, keen to see how the patients fared with light hats. He provided research findings that enabled the light hats to be improved, and he is writing up for publication some of the earliest case studies.

The light hats were made by the volunteers in the group and given to patients at no cost to the patients. As more people with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders joined in, it became more important to the group that the gift of light hats was continued.

To this end, a not-for profit association is being established and it will seek charity status.  The plan is to continue to make light hats available to patients through this organisation and to promote formal research into trans-cranial near infrared light for neurodegenerative disorders. Other volunteers are planning to do something similar in France.

Recent Publications by John Mitrofanis