Infrared-Beaming Helmet May Battle Alzheimer's

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Despite looking like a freaky PC case-mod for your head, researchers say this helmet may serve as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. It directs low levels of infrared light at the skulls of Alzheimer's sufferers in order to combat the disease by stimulating brain cell growth.

A medical team from Sunderland and Durham Universities in the UK believe this could help combat the disease, having already tested the idea on mice. In that test, the mice gained better learning ability afterwards. A human test will go ahead in the summer.

Current therapy for Alzheimer's sufferers doesn't correct for cell-loss, which is why this technology may be promising. Infrared treatment, thought to stimulate cell re-growth, was developed first for cold sores (better known by snickering bloggers as "mouth herpes") and according to doctors at the research company Virulite, shining IR lasers at Alzheimer's sufferers led to improvements in eight out of nine cases.


The helmet design uses the same principle, and its trials on real people will use levels of IR equivalent to sunshine in the hope of reversing some of the crippling damage caused by this disease. No word yet when we'll be able to use TV remotes to try and stave off Alzheimer's at home. [BBC News and Daily Mail]