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
Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
05.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences