Until recently, medical professionals have sought to slow Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia because no known treatments have worked to undo existing damage. The first trial of light therapy has given some early indications that it may be the first treatment option that can help restore some of the brain’s functionality lost because of one of the degenerative disorders. Functionality that seems to be positively affected by this new therapy include the following:
- Reading and writing
Light therapy requires a special device that illuminates the parts of the brain that have been damaged to stimulate natural healing. One of the primary benefits is that it doesn’t require any medications or drugs. The first trial included 228 participants in eight Canadian and American cities. The study lead at the University of Toronto thinks that the lights activates mitochondria activity to increase the brain’s energy.
The current study of light therapy was first discussed and published in 1967, and it has been used in many countries for other issues, such as sinus problems and wound healing. With people adopting lifestyles that keep them indoors most of the time, they are getting less light, and it is thought that less light is negatively affecting the body’s natural healing powers, including dementia. By exposing people to more light, medical professionals already know about the positive physical effects. They are now studying how light can positively affect the brain. There is still a risk of the effects being largely psychological instead of actual, but they are hopeful that the initial safety trials are an indicator that the treatment will be effective on a larger scale.