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Light helmet to treat Alzheimer's?

A linkurl:story;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7208768.stm by the BBC last week reporting that a treatment of infrared light through the scalp could reverse Alzheimer's disease has scientists -- and skeptical science writers -- scratching their heads. Gordon Dougal, director of a UK-based company called Virulite, is leading a study that tests whether infrared light, beamed on the head from a special helmet, might boost cell growth in the brain (Virulite currently sells a product also based i

By | January 30, 2008

A linkurl:story;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7208768.stm by the BBC last week reporting that a treatment of infrared light through the scalp could reverse Alzheimer's disease has scientists -- and skeptical science writers -- scratching their heads. Gordon Dougal, director of a UK-based company called Virulite, is leading a study that tests whether infrared light, beamed on the head from a special helmet, might boost cell growth in the brain (Virulite currently sells a product also based in infrared technology that claims to heal cold sores nearly twice as fast as other treatments). ABC linkurl:reported;http://abcnews.go.com/Health/GadgetGuide/Story?id=4202266&page=1 on Monday that University of Sunderland researchers had tested a group of rats they determined were in mental decline with infrared light. Ten of these rats showed improvement in navigating a maze. The group has also performed tests on 10 people with dementia -- nine of whom showed "moderate improvement" -- though they didn't mention how they were measuring "improvement." The next phase of testing starts this summer and will involve 100 people, who will have to wear the helmet for 10 minutes a day, in order to expose the brain to enough infrared light. "It sounds more hocus-pocus than anything," linkurl:Ronald Peterson,;http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/staff/petersen_rc.cfm director of the Alzheimer's research center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., told ABC. Zaven Khachaturian, editor-in-chief of Alzheimer's & Dementia, also told ABC that he could not conceive of any biological mechanism that could account for improved brain function after exposure to certain wavelengths of light. Hopefully expanded clinical trials will, ahem, shed a little more light on the subject.
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Avatar of: Mary Nascimento

Mary Nascimento

Posts: 1

April 9, 2008

I have read that the Mayo Clinic uses far infrared technology to treat CHF.\nFar Infrared therapies are used extensively in Japan and China for various maladies.\nThe article doesn't specify what infrared range is utilized in the helmet.

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