Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Can Infrared Helmet Reverse Alzheimer's?

news you may not knowGo Ahead - Give it a Try...
(Prototype Helmet - Courtesy of University of Sunderland)

It's sounds like something from Star Trek. A geeky looking guy with odd hair, and really strange cloths, listens intently as you talk about your dad's mental decline. Forgetfulness, disorientation, problems completing ordinary tasks. You share your fear it's the beginning of Alzheimer's. He nods, then opens a cabinet and removes a bizarre looking black helmet that appears to have been hastily constructed - in his garage. "Here," he says. "Have your dad wear this for ten minutes each morning. He should be fine in a month or so."

Yes, it sounds far fetched. But...

Researchers at the University of Sunderland, in England, have developed just such a helmet. The prototype helmet uses infrared light to treat patients with dementia. Infrared light is the invisible spectrum of sunlight we experience as heat, and is totally safe at the administered levels. The idea began to take shape following the use of infrared light to treat cold sores. The infrared light boosts the body's ability to produce cells that fight the cold sore virus.

The scientists thought it may also work with brain cells.

Dr. Gordon Dougal, a director of a medical research company working in conjunction with Sunderland, said, "As we get older, cells stop repairing themselves and we age because our cells lose the desire to regenerate and repair themselves. But what if there was a technology that told the cells to repair themselves and that technology was something as simple as a specific wavelength of light? Near infrared light penetrates human tissues relatively well, even penetrating the human skull, just as sunlight passes through frosted glass."

So, the future of dementia treatment looks quite bright. Except, of course, for the geeky looking guy with the odd hair...

To read more about the research, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about Alzheimer's, and to find education and treatment resources, see this from the Alzheimer's Association.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alzheimer's is caused by a shortage of anti-oxidants.

Zandi PP, Anthony JC, Khachaturian AS, et al. Reduced risk of Alzheimer disease in users of antioxidant vitamin supplements: the Cache County Study. Arch Neurol. 2004 Jan; 61(1): 82-8 :

BACKGROUND: Antioxidants may protect the aging brain against oxidative damage associated with pathological changes of Alzheimer disease (AD). OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between antioxidant supplement use and risk of AD. DESIGN: Cross-sectional and prospective study of dementia. Elderly (65 years or older) county residents were assessed in 1995 to 1997 for prevalent dementia and AD, and again in 1998 to 2000 for incident illness. Supplement use was ascertained at the first contact. SETTING: Cache County, Utah.

PARTICIPANTS: Among 4740 respondents (93%) with data sufficient to determine cognitive status at the initial assessment, we identified 200 prevalent cases of AD. Among 3227 survivors at risk, we identified 104 incident AD cases at follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Diagnosis of AD by means of multistage assessment procedures.

RESULTS: Analyses of prevalent and incident AD yielded similar results. Use of vitamin E and C (ascorbic acid) supplements in combination was associated with reduced AD prevalence (adjusted odds ratio, 0.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.60) and incidence (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.99). A trend toward lower AD risk was also evident in users of vitamin E and multivitamins containing vitamin C, but we saw no evidence of a protective effect with use of vitamin E or vitamin C supplements alone, with multivitamins alone, or with vitamin B-complex supplements.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of vitamin E and vitamin C supplements in combination is associated with reduced prevalence and incidence of AD. Antioxidant supplements merit further study as agents for the primary prevention of AD.

8:29 PM  
Blogger james said...

Hey great stuff pal!!
Alzheimers can also be caused due to cold sores.Can cold sores also be cured through this infrared helmet?
james

5:54 AM  
Blogger james said...

Can cold sores be treated naturally?
james

10:56 PM  
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9:50 PM  

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