29 January 2008

The helmet that could turn back the symptoms of Alzheimer’s

New research could help reverse the biological clock for dementia patients
University of Sunderland (UK): 25 January 2007
Medical experts in the North-East of England believe they could have found the key to turning back the brain's biological clock and reverse the effects of dementia and memory loss.

Pioneering research at the University of Sunderland has shown that regular exposure to safe low level infra-red light can improve learning performance and kick-start the cognitive function of the brain. The results are a scientific breakthrough as to date medical treatments for dementia can only slow down brain deterioration and now human trials are to start to see if the treatment could provide a cure to illnesses like Alzheimer’s.

Independent research carried out at Sunderland has demonstrated that low power infra-red (1072nm) can improve the learning performance. The low levels of infra-red light used are completely safe and occur naturally in sunlight. They are currently being used in innovative new machines for the treatment of cold sores, which have been approved for NHS prescription.

Experts claim that early stage dementia patients should see an improvement in their cognitive function within four weeks, by wearing a lightweight helmet in their home for just ten minutes a day.

Human testing of the ground-breaking infra-red treatment on the brain is due to start this summer and medical experts hope this will halt and even reverse the effects of dementia…. > full story : Daily Mail

Comments from Alzheimer's Australia Research Officer, Suzanne Dixon: The report seems promising, as current treatments for dementia can only delay brain deterioration; reversal of brain damage could ultimately provide a cure. However, so far the treatment has only been trialled on a very small number of individual cases, and whether the observations can be replicated on a larger and more rigorous scale remains to be seen. In addition, the ‘cure’ will probably always only be partial as there may be a limit to the extent brain damage can be reversed. Human trials are soon to start to test the efficacy and safety of the treatment. (18 February 2008)

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