Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research could help reverse the biological clock for dementia patients

25.01.2008
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 Alzheimers.

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.

The new infra-red device was created by Dr Gordon Dougal, a director of Virulite – a medical research company based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham – which is also behind the innovative cold sore machine.

He came up with the idea of using a safe level of infra red light on the human brain after it had proved effective in the treatment of cold sores – a process that relies on boosting the cells within the body responsible for killing the virus, rather than attacking it.

Dr Dougal said: “The implications of this research at the University of Sunderland are enormous – so much so that in the future, we could be able to affect and change the rate at which our bodies age.

“As we get older, cells stop repairing themselves and we age because our cells lose the desire to regenerate and repair themselves. This ultimately results in cell death and decline of the organ functions, for the brain resulting in memory decay and deterioration in general intellectual performance.

“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.”

Dr Dougal, who claims that ten minutes of exposure to the infrared light daily would have the desired effect on the brain, added: “Currently all you can do with dementia is to slow down the rate of decay – this new process will not only stop that rate of decay but partially reverse it.”

The research by University of Sunderland neuroscientist, Dr Abdel Ennaceur has led Dr Dougal to arrange clinical trials with patients with age related memory problems.”

Fellow neuroscientist Paul Chazot, who helped carry out the research, added: “The treatment can indeed improve learning ability. The results are completely new – this has never been looked at before.

“Dr Dougal’s treatment might have some potential in improving learning in a human situation by delivering infra red through the thinnest parts of the skull to get maximum access to the brain.”

Further research work will continue in this area, funded by CELS, who support Healthcare research and development in universities, hospitals and companies within the North East of England.

Tony Kerr | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/caffairs/septhm.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>