Can Light Therapy Help Treat Alzheimer’s Disease?
We are all familiar with the healing effects of light — especially this time of year, when we would prefer to have longer days with more sunlight. Light triggers many healthy mechanisms in the body, including the production of active Vitamin D.
In the last fifty years, scientists have discovered other benefits of light for health conditions, treating injuries, pain, inflammation and other conditions.
All of us are desperately looking for ways to more effectively prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative diseases of the brain, including Parkinson’s, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and others. A piece of the puzzle appears to be light therapy in a form called photobiomodulation, or PBM.
Photobiomodulation: How it Works
Formerly known as LLLT, or low level laser therapy, PBM is the use of red or near-infrared light to stimulate cells. One way that PBM works is by stimulating cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme that causes energy to be produced in the mitochondria of cells. This explains why PBM can speed healing in injuries.
Great, It Heals Injuries, But Does It Work for the Brain?
How to get light into the brain has been the challenge facing designers of PBM devices. In the last few years, this obstacle has been overcome. Using a combination of transcranial (applied to the skull) and intranasal (through the nasal cavity) delivery, Vielight (think “vie”, French for “life”) has developed an effective technique to bring light therapy to the brain.
Using an 810 nanometer wavelength and 40 hz frequency, the Vielight Neuro Gamma device delivers gamma waves, associated with improving mental function, deeper into the brain.
What’s the Evidence?
Smaller studies using the Neuro Gamma have shown improvement in cognitive scores, blood flow in the brain, and connectivity between parts of the brain, all encouraging.
A larger, Phase III clinical trial is underway in Toronto and Michigan to see the effects of 24 weeks of treatment with the Neuro Gamma on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The subjects will be checked for improvements in activities of daily living (ADLs) and in the SIB, a measure that looks at reasoning, memory, social interaction, and other aspects of cognitive function.
I have just started recommending the Vielight products, mostly the Neuro Gamma, to my patients. Vielight also makes products that help with relaxation using Alpha waves. The 810 NIR is a device that Vielight recommends for improving mental acuity in people who have not entered a stage of cognitive decline.
Discount Code for Vielight Orders
If you are interested and/or want more information, you can reach out to me or the company. If you want to purchase a device, use my discount code, drgoodmannd, at checkout to get a 10% discount.