NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES AND RED LIGHT THERAPY SUCH AS DEMENTIA, ALZHEIMER'S , MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, LOU GEHRIGS (ALS),  AND PARKINSON'S CAN BENEFIT

Light is in fact an essential nutrient for humans and hour health depends on getting the right dose of these five types of light. The point is that modern humans are deficient in the benefits of all of these five wavelengths of light, such as Blue Light, Red and Near-Infrared Light, UV light, Far Infrared Light  and there are health consequences when we don’t get enough.

Our  modern light environment of too much of the wrong kinds of light and too little of the right kinds of light is called mal-illumination. The vast majority of people living in the modern world are suffering from chronic mal-illumination and don’t even realize it.

It has widespread effects on our brain and organ function, immune system. Energy levels, mood, neurotransmitter balance, and hormone levels.

Drs. Victor Rafuse and Ying Zhang are part of the Dalhousie team that discovered a light-activated pathway to restoring muscle function.

(Halifax, Nova Scotia)—Neuroscience researchers at Dalhousie Medical School and the Brain Repair Centre in Halifax, N.S., have shown that muscles can be activated directly with light, bypassing the nervous system and offering a potential solution to muscle-wasting and paralysis caused by nerve injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.

“We’ve found we can prevent atrophy in completely dennervated muscles by shining light on them through the skin for an hour a day,” says Dr. Victor Rafuse, professor in the Department of Medical Neuroscience and director of the Brain Repair Centre. “Others have used light to successfully stimulate nerves, but we are the first to bypass the nerves and go straight to the muscles. This is vital, because the nerve tissue is completely destroyed in many injuries and in diseases like ALS, so you can’t rely on stimulating nerves to activate muscles.”

The very prominent scientific journal, Nature Communications, published the researchers’ findings on October 13, 2015.    To test their theory that light could be used to activate muscles directly, the research team used mouse genetics to insert a light-activated ion channel, first discovered in the single-celled aquatic organism, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, into a line of mice. This enabled their muscles to contract when stimulated with blue LED light.

“Our next step is to develop a means of delivering the light-activated ion channel directly to the muscles, without altering the genome,” Dr. Rafuse says. “Then we would have a viable therapeutic strategy for human use.”

For example, Dr. Rafuse suggests that the gene encoding the channel could be delivered into the hand muscles of a person with a peripheral nerve injury that has severed the nervous system’s connection to the hand. “We see the possibility of developing a ‘light glove’ they could wear to prevent atrophy in those muscles and use to stimulate muscle contractions whenever they want to grasp something.”

This developing technology has many potential uses, including the ability to stimulate the diaphragm in people with ALS who are suffering from respiratory problems due to the loss of the motor neurons and synaptic connections that innervate their breathing muscles.

 

Reference: Compliments of Dalhousie medical researchers bypass nerves to activate muscles directly with light - Posted by Dalhousie Medical School on October 13, 2015 in

Health, News https://www.dal.ca/news/media/media- releases/2015/10/13/dalhousie_medical_researchers_bypass_nerves_to_activate_muscles_directly_with_light.html

HOW BLUE LIGHT CAN HELP ALS PATIENTS

Courtesy of ALS News Today Oct 19, 2015

ALS is short for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Researchers at the Dalhousie Medical School and the Brain Repair Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have successfully stimulated muscle fibers directly by light, bypassing the nervous system and showing for the first time that it is possible to restore function to denervated muscles. The research study, entitled Direct optical activation of skeletal muscle fibers efficiently controls muscle contraction and attenuates denervation atrophy was published in Nature Communications.

The researchers genetically engineered an ion channel, responsive to light, into a strain of mice whole muscles contracted when exposed to blue LED light.

Dr. Victor Rafuse, professor in the Department of Medical Neuroscience and Director of the Brain Repair Centre, commented on the research breakthrough, “We’ve found we can prevent atrophy in completely denervated muscles by shining light on them through the skin for an hour a day. Others have used light to successfully stimulate nerves, but we are the first to bypass the nerves and go straight to the muscles. This is vital, because the nerve tissue is completely destroyed in many injuries and in diseases like ALS, so you can’t rely on stimulating nerves to activate muscles”.

Importantly, these findings could also mean a new therapy angle for ALS patients, a disease characterized by neurodegeneration that leads to the death of motor neurons. This light-stimulated strategy could attenuate and even improve patients’ breathing function as a consequence of motor neuron loss and proper innervations of the respiratory system.

BLUE LIGHT AND LOU GEHRIG'S DISEASE (ALS)

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