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The Potential of Near-Infrared Light Therapy in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

AUTHORS: Daniel M. Johnstone 1, Cécile Moro 2, Jonathan Stone 1, Alim-Louis Benabid 2 and John Mitrofanis 2* 1 Department of Physiology, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2 University Grenoble Alpes, CEA, LETI, CLINATEC, MINATEC Campus, Grenoble, France, 3 Department of Anatomy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

This article is a review of many research studies. Read and download the entire article here.

Although in its infancy, with the bulk of results still at the pre-clinical “proof of concept” stage, NIr (Near-infrared) therapy has the potential to develop into a safe and effective neuroprotective treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (and presumably other neurodegenerative diseases such multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). If NIr was applied at early stages of the disease process, for example at first diagnosis, it could potentially slow further progression by protecting neurons from death. Consequently, over time, the greater neuronal survival would lessen the clinical signs and symptoms. Further, NIr therapy—because of its lack of side-effects and neuroprotective potential—is amenable to use in conjunction with other treatments. For example, patients may have NIr therapy with a reduced dosage of drugs as a first line treatment; the potential neuroprotective effect of NIr could prolong the efficacy of the drug therapy. Further, in Parkinson’s patients selected for deep brain stimulation, they may also have an NIr optical fiber implanted surgically at the same time, thereby potentially offering neuroprotection of the remaining dopaminergic cells. There is much to do in further developing this treatment, but the therapeutic possibilities are many and the potential outcomes very exciting. We await the outcomes of major clinical trials using NIr therapy on these patients with much anticipation.