Scientists reckon they've stumbled on a way to reverse the effects of dementia and memory loss. Older people who are exposed to low-level infra-red light for just 10 minutes a day show an improvement in their cognitive abilities in just a month, they've found.
Participants have been testing the theory by wearing a helmet that emits infra-red light at a range of 1072 nm. Their learning performance and cognitive functions have improved within a short time, researchers at the University of Sunderland have found.
The prototype helmet has been developed by Dr Gordon Dougal and his company, Virulite, which has already developed a machine that treats cold sores.
Following these early successes, the researchers are soon to test the device on Alzheimer's patients.
Dr Dougal commented: "As we get older, cells stop repairing themselves and we age because our cells lose the desire to regenerate and repair themselves. 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."
(Source: University of Sunderland, January 26, 2008, and Science Daily, January 31, 2008).