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article imageToronto tech firm provides hope to those with Alzheimer's disease

By Tim Sandle     Aug 7, 2016 in Technology
Toronto - Toronto-based Vielight Inc. has produced two wearable technology devices that have the potential to help people affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
The Canadian company Vielight Inc. specializes in developing wearable photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) devices. These devices are intended to enhance well-being. With the technology, light in the red and near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are deployed because such light can readily penetrate the scalp, skull and brain. This forms part of the science of photobiology, which is the study of the effects of non-ionizing radiation on biological systems.
The two items of technology are the Vielight 810 Infrared and Vielight Neuro wearable devices. The devices use low level light therapy (LLLT) or PBMT. With this the devices are similar, with the 'Neuro' being more powerful. The medical application is that exposure to low-level light or light emitting diodes will stimulate cellular function in the brain and this may leading to a beneficial clinical outcome. The Toronto-based firm have manufactured over 15,000 units to date and they are being used at such leading institutions as Harvard Medical School and Boston University.
In a groundbreaking new study, the use of the two devices appeared to halt, and possibly even reverse, the decline of Alzheimer’s disease. With the study, patients used the ‘Neuro’ device for up to 20 minutes once or twice a week. This was followed by use of the ‘Vielight 810’ device each day for around 25 minutes.
The study was only a pilot program to consider the feasibility. However, the results are significant and indicate that the treatment for people with moderate-severe cognitive impairment leads to significant clinical improvements (patients reported better sleep, fewer angry outbursts, less anxiety and less wandering.) Why this happens is uncertain (the scientific field remains relatively new, however it is thought the application of the light energy stimulates cells to generate more energy and undergo self-repair.) Based on the results obtained, further work will be undertaken.
The research was presented to the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Toronto, Canada, July 24-28 2016. The research is titled "Significant Improvement in Cognition after Transcranial and Intranasal Photobiomodulation: A Controlled, Single-Blind Pilot Study in Participants with Dementia."
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