Photobiomodulation with Near Infrared Light Helmet in a Pilot, Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial in Dementia Patients Testing Memory and Cognition
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common, chronic expensive debilitating neurodegenerative disease with no current treatments to prevent the physical deterioration of the brain and the consequent cognitive deficits. The current pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) of hyperphosphorylated tau protein and amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques. Antibody therapy of Tau and Amyloid beta, vaccines and other methods to decrease Tau and or Amyloid have not been successful after considerable pharmaceutical and biotech efforts. For example, Eli Lilly announced a major change to its closely watched clinical trial for the Alzheimer’s drug solanezumab which failed to reach statistical significance. Recently, a report on animal models using photomodulation with near infrared light to treat AD pathology in K369I tau transgenic model (K3) l engineered to develop neurofibrillary tangles, and the
APPs/PSEN1dE9 transgenic model (APP/PS1) to develop amyloid plaques. Mice were treated with NIR 20 times over a four-week period and NIR treatment (600-1000 nm) was associated with a reduction in the size and number of amyloid-β plaques in the neocortex and hippocampus. We now report a small pilot double blind, placebo-controlled trial (n=11) 6 active, 3 controls and 2 dropouts assessing the effect of 28 consecutive, six minute transcranial sessions of near infrared (NIR) stimulation using 1060-1080 nm light emitting diodes.
Subjects were independently diagnosed with dementia conducted in an outpatient behavioral healthcare clinic. IRB approval was obtained through the Quietmind Foundation’s institutional review Board (IRB). Results showed changes in executive functioning; clock drawing, immediate recall, praxis memory, visual attention and task switching (Trails A&B) as well as a trend of improved EEG amplitude and connectivity measures. Neuroplasticity has also been reported with NIR light stimulation and mitochondrial enhancement.