INFRARed Light Therapy for ALZHEIMER'S & PARKINSON'S /
glutathione BOOSTER FOR NEUROPROTECTION.
Turning On Lights to Stop Neurodegeneration: The Potential of Near Infrared Light Therapy in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are the two most common neurodegenerative disorders. They develop after a progressive death of many neurons in the brain. Although therapies are available to treat the signs and symptoms of both diseases, the progression of neuronal death remains relentless, and it has proved difficult to slow or stop. Hence, there is a need to develop neuroprotective or disease-modifying treatments that stabilize this degeneration. Red to infrared light therapy (λ = 600–1070 nm), and in particular light in the near infrared (NIr) range, is emerging as a safe and effective therapy that is capable of arresting neuronal death. Previous studies have used NIr to treat tissue stressed by hypoxia, toxic insult, genetic mutation and mitochondrial dysfunction with much success. Here we propose NIr therapy as a neuroprotective or disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients.
Keywords: disease-modifying, neuroprotection, photobiomodulation, amyloid plaques, tau protein
Several recent studies in animal models of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease have reported that low-level near infrared light (NIr) therapy not only mitigates the behavioral deficits associated with these conditions but also has neuroprotective effects, slowing the underlying death of neurons. Current clinical therapies for both diseases do not achieve a comparable slowing of degeneration and neuroprotection, though they do relieve motor signs in Parkinson's disease and, to a lesser extent, the cognitive, and memory deficits in Alzheimer's disease. In this review, we consider the evidence for neuroprotection by NIr in animal models of these diseases, the putative mechanisms by which NIr may work to protect cells against insult, the safety of NIr therapy and finally, the potential effective use of NIr therapy in patients. First, we provide an overview of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and current treatment options for these conditions.
I think the biggest innovations of the twenty-first century will be the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning, just like the digital one when I was his age."
Parkinson’s disease: a disorder due to nigral glutathione deficiency?
The investigator who conducted this study began by analysing levels of glutathione in autopsied human brain. They found that in general glutathione content is significantly lower in the substantia nigra (the region where the dopamine neurons live) than in other brain regions. But when they looked at glutathione levels in the substantia nigra of people who died with Parkinson’s disease, they barely detected any glutathione at all.
Virtually all neurological diseases have some level of oxidative damage as a root cause or major contributor to dysfunction. Therefore, it is not surprising that Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have been the focus of much glutathione research.
A recent study entitled "Elevation of glutathione as a therapeutic strategy in Alzheimer's disease" concludes: "Increasing glutathione remains a promising therapeutic strategy to slow or prevent MCI and Alzheimer's disease." Considering that glutathione levels continue to decline as we age, and that both AD and MCI increase with age, supplementation with effective glutathione can play an important role in prevention, or slowing the progression of this disease.
While glutathione is useful for virtually any disease or health challenge, it is particularly useful for debilitating neurological diseases like Parkinson's disease (PD). There are studies using intravenous (IV) glutathione that demonstrate its ability to improve Parkinson's symptom. People with this chronic progressive neurological disorder have high levels of oxidative stress and premature cellular die off in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Another hallmark of PD is the loss of the brain's ability to make dopamine. While more studies are needed to further determine the ways in which glutathione helps PD, we have some solid medical theories, the premise of which continues to be borne out as research progresses.
We know that glutathione reduces specific free radical activity that interferes with the proper levels of both dopamine and acetylcholine, which is believed to be the neurochemical imbalance underlying Parkinson's disease (PD).
As early as 1996, a study entitled "Reduced intravenous glutathione in the treatment of early Parkinson's disease" found that the progression of PD was reduced, and symptoms improved by 42% after only 30 days of treatment. However, the practice of using glutathione for PD was not widespread, because it had to be administered directly into the veins (IV), necessitating clinic visits and medical staff inserting needles for proper administration.
In another 2009 study, Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist at The Perlmutter Health Center, oversaw a human pilot study on the use of IV glutathione for PD, the results of which he published in Movement Disorders. The researchers reported significant improvement during one month of glutathione treatment. When the treatments stopped, the symptoms worsened again. Dr. Perlmutter's group stated that glutathione was safe and well tolerated.
Research on using therapeutic glutathione is incredibly encouraging for this incurable neurological disease. The stumbling block has always been that it has to be given IV, in a clinic licensed for administration of intravenous drugs, in order to be effective. There are not many clinics nationwide offering this service, and it is very expensive.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
One hallmark of HIV is the inability of the immune system to function properly. People with HIV often develop infections that can become life-threatening, and one such infection is tuberculosis. Researchers extracted immune system cells from people with HIV to see how well these cells would control the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis. They found that the infection itself caused a depletion in glutathione, and that the immune cells, in turn, could not control the mycobacteria. By boosting the body's levels of active glutathione, once again the cells could control the mycobacteria.
The researchers theorized that glutathione depletion may play at least a partial causative role in reduced immune response in people with HIV, and that increasing systemic glutathione could improve immune system function in this group.
You Can't Live Without Glutathione
If you go 24 hours without food, your liver will steal amino acids from the protein in your muscles to make this critical compound. It is absolutely necessary for health and vigor. I can't promise you the fountain of youth, but I can promise that you will live a longer, healthier, more youthful life with optimal levels of glutathione.
Ignore all that hype about antioxidant supplements: Why daily vitamin pills can INCREASE your risk of disease
They are particularly critical of the manufacturers: ‘Maybe it’s a genuine lack of comprehension of the science, or a stubbornness to expunge former beliefs, or worse, a blatant attempt to cash in while there’s still money to be made.
'Whatever it is, (the supplement manufacturers) are putting your health in jeopardy and it’s high time it stopped.
‘It is clear that it is no longer science but market forces that are driving the macabre antioxidant industry.’
It’s a controversial view, but Goggins and Matten point out that supplements are based on a flawed understanding of how antioxidants work.