Neurodegenerative diseases have become frighteningly common as adults age. More than 10M adults worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s Disease and another 5.4M Americans suffer from the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Neurodegenerative diseases consist of the brain’s neurons dying off. This results in loss of brain functionality. For instance, Alzheimer’s patients experience loss of memory and Parkinson’s patients experience loss of motor skills & control.
Methods to treat Parkinson’s Disease include various ways of attempting to either activate the effects of the lost neurons, or stimulate the growth of new neurons. However, because each person experiences Parkinson’s differently, each treatment can show varying degrees of effectiveness. At this time, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. Instead, the treatments aim to improve quality of life for the patients and utilize therapeutic treatments.
Treatments for Alzheimer’s also focus on quality of life improvements. These target the loss of memory, changes in the sleep cycle, and mitigating the behavioral effects of Alzheimer’s.
A study published online in 2016 attempted to evaluate the use of red light therapy. They focused on near infrared light (NIr) and how it could help manage the effects of neurodegeneration.
They began their study by stating that: “The fact that NIr therapy has been reported to be effective in so many different models of disease and in a range of neural systems suggests that it is not a targeted therapy, but instead, acts to mitigate ubiquitous processes relating to cell damage and death.” (Turning on the Lights to Stop Neurodegeneration)
They follow with charts of their results in treating both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease with near infrared light. They performed tests on various subjects including human cells, monkeys, and rats.
Their results were overwhelmingly positive. Their Alzheimer’s results in particular show increased cell survival, decreased oxidative stress and inflammation. Parkinson’s results are equally encouraging, with increased cell survival, mitochondrial function, locomotive behavior, and decreased oxidative stress.
These exciting results were the result of intranasal, hand-held, or helmet-type devices. The possibility of using a whole-body light system was not examined because the innovation wasn’t available until 2019. However, it’s fair to extrapolate on how much more benefit patients with neurodegenerative diseases may receive when their entire body is being treated with red light and near infrared healing treatments.
Go to our product page to learn more about our whole body, red light therapy pod or contact us to see how you can utilize our light pod for personal care or as part of your integrative wellness center.
Read more about neurodegenerative diseases and red light therapy:
Understand what neurons are:
More information on Parkinson’s Disease:
More information on Alzheimer’s Disease: