LED therapy may be "light" at the end of the tunnel for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and stroke

LED therapy may be “light” at the end of the tunnel for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke

Parkinson’s, dementia and stroke are the most common neurological diseases in the elderly population, and also some of the most feared. According to a study published in the scientific journal Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatrynearly half (48.2%) of women over 45 will develop dementia, Parkinson’s or suffer a stroke.

The alert also serves the male population: 36.2% of men in the same range tend to be diagnosed with one of the three diseases.


LED therapy can help treat cognition problems in aging. image: shutterstock

However, a technique called LEDtherapy can be – almost literally (because it is based on light) – the light at the end of the tunnel for this phase of life. The process, technically called photobiomodulation, is based on the application of light to a biological system, being able to induce a photochemical process that can increase cellular metabolism and produce effects such as tissue regeneration and wound healing. The method is already widely used to treat hair loss or improve the quality of hair strands.

According to angiologist Dr. Álvaro Pereira, with aging, cells work more slowly, some literally “die” and the brain tissue, with its tangles of neurons that communicate with each other, begins to lose connection, generating problems in learning, perception, attention, memory. , imagination and reasoning.

“Photobiomodulation can be of great help to people in aging. With the increase in life expectancy, there has been a significant increase in the number of people with declines in basic brain functions such as senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or mere impairment of cognition. It can be used not only for physical injuries, but also for behavior. It improves the circulation and the activities of the brain cells of the neurons”, explains the doctor, one of the greatest specialists in Brazil in the method.

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LED therapy has been studied to reduce the cognitive deficit of the elderly, to attenuate depression, bipolar disorders, personality disorders and improve fine motor skills. Among the disorders evaluated by the researchers are senile (or senile) dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or mere impairment of cognition. Studies have already shown promising results in attention, learning, memory, mood, sleep, and recovery from stroke sequelae.

Helmet used in LEDtherapy. Image: Disclosure

Currently, there are some helmets that emit specific radiation to stimulate brain tissue. According to Dr. Pereira, these artifacts are being tested in the United States in sports that often cause brain injuries such as football and boxing.

“For the treatment of the elderly, these helmets aim to improve attention, learning, memory, mood, sleep, recovery from stroke sequelae, reduce the cognitive deficit of the elderly, in addition to attenuating depression, bipolar disorders, personality and fine motor skills. It is currently used in specialist clinics, but in the future it could be used at home, with remote control by the accompanying doctor,” he concluded.

Population aging in Brazil

It is worth remembering that, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in 2019, Brazil had 28 million people over 60 years old – the age that is considered an elderly person in the country -, which represents 13 % of the Brazilian population. The estimate of the World Health Organization (WHO) is that, by 2050, this number will triple.

The numbers are a warning to our health system, which may not support the amount of diseases that come with aging. Other recent research has linked diabetes to accelerated cognitive decline, in this case, especially in men over 50. See the details here!

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