Infrared light therapy can potentially benefit people with dementia

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According to the researchers, infrared light therapy could potentially help people with dementia.

A pilot study, led by Dr Paul Chazot, University of Durham, UK, and Dr Gordon Dougal, Maculume Ltd, found improvements in memory, motor function and processing skills in healthy people having normal intellectual function for their age.

As a result, the researchers said that transcranial photobiomodulation therapy (PBM-T) – where infrared light is self-admitted to the brain using a specially designed headset worn by the patient – could potentially also have benefits for people with dementia.

They pointed out that more research into the use and effectiveness of the therapy was needed, but that the results of their pilot were promising.

The research is published in the journal Photobiomodulation, photomedicine and laser surgery.

The research saw 14 healthy people, aged 45 and over, from the UK, given six minutes of PBM-T twice a day at a wavelength of 1068 nanometers over a four-week period. This was done alongside a control group of 13 members using a PBM-T dummy headset.

Scientists performed a series of memory, verbal and motor skills tests on participants in both groups before and after the treatment period to see what improvements in function could have been achieved.

Researchers found significant improvements in motor function performance (finger tapping), memory performance (mathematical processing, a type of working memory), memory delay, and brain processing speed, in healthy people who received PBM-T versus those in the placebo control group.

Participants did not report any side effects caused by the treatment.

Co-lead researcher Dr Paul Chazot, Department of Biosciences at Durham University, said: “We have shown what appear to be real improvements in memory and other neurological processes in people. healthy when their brain is exposed to a specific infrared wavelength. light for short periods of time.

“Although this is a pilot study and more research is needed, there are promising indications that therapy using infrared light may also be beneficial for people with dementia and it deserves to be looked at. explored. Indeed, we and our US research collaborators recently also published a new independent clinical study that provides the first evidence of profound and rapid improvement in memory performance in dementia.

“We know that infrared light of particular wavelengths can help alleviate nerve cell damage, amyloid load and reduced blood flow to the brain, which are common in people with dementia. It could therefore be used as a form of revolutionary multimodal therapy. ?

“This could provide a new disease modifying strategy for dementia, with the potential to alleviate many of the serious problems faced by people with dementia and reduce the burden on their caregivers.”

The PBM-T headset was designed by Dr Dougal, who is also a practicing GP based in County Durham, UK.

It works by delivering infrared light from 14 fan-cooled LED light arrays deep in the brain, focused by the skull, at a wavelength between 1,060 and 1,080 nanometers, delivering 1368 J of energy to the skull during each six-minute treatment cycle.

This stimulates the mitochondria which generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the biochemical reactions of cells. This in turn leads to an increase in the level of an organic compound called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is markedly decreased in patients with dementia, which provides the energy needed to drive processes in living cells and help nerve cells. to repair itself.

Researchers say the therapy can also increase nitric oxide levels, and therefore blood flow in the brain, by improving the flexibility of the membrane that lines the inside of blood vessels. This opens up the blood vessels so that more oxygen can reach the white matter deep in the brain.

The helmet can be easily worn by patients, which means that the therapy can be easily administered at home. Researchers believe it could be beneficial for other disorders as well, such as Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, or motor neuron disease. Each helmet costs around £ 7,250 to purchase.

Current clinical practice can only pave the way for optimal recovery with little or no effect on cell function. Laboratory work exploring the mechanism of action of PBM-T1068 indicates that this therapeutic tool may well help dying brain cells regenerate into functional units. Much more research is needed to fully understand the mechanism of action. “

Dr Gordon Dougal, Research Co-Director, Maculume Ltd

This pilot study follows 20 years of work by Dr. Chazot to identify, develop and validate a particular wavelength of infrared light for use in the treatment of dementia through a series of preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies.

These studies showed for the first time that PBM-T with a specific wavelength improved memory performance and reduced beta-amyloid – a membrane protein that normally plays an essential role in the growth and repair of neurons. , but which later in life can increase and destroy the nerves. cells leading to thought and memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease – in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s.

The latest findings also follow separate recently published pilot clinical studies in Alzheimer’s disease involving Drs Chazot and Dougal.

Published in journals, Curate and Aging and illness, and led by Dr Jason Huang (Texas A&M University), these results suggest that PBM-T1068 – also known as transcranial near infrared (tNIR) therapy – has a similar profound and rapid positive effect on disease in men and women with mild to moderate dementia.

In the Cureus study, for example, 39 patients were given six minutes of PBM-T twice a day for eight weeks, alongside a control group of 17 patients who used a dummy headset.

In the mini mental state exams (MMSE), the women who received the treatment showed a 20 percent improvement, while there was a 19 percent improvement in the men (an increase of 4. 8 MMSE units), from a treatment of only eight weeks. This compares to an improvement of 6.5 percent in women and 5.9 percent in men in the control group, respectively.

After two to three weeks, participants reported having more energy, elevated mood, and less anxiety, as well as better physical and mental involvement in daily activities. An improvement in mood was also noted by caregivers.

Again, no adverse reactions were reported by participants or caregivers associated with treatment during or after completion of treatment. Curate to study.


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