Unlocking Hope for Alzheimer's with Light Therapy

Unlocking Hope for Alzheimer's with Light Therapy

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized by a slow but steady decline in cognitive function. It represents around 70% of dementia cases globally and is designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a significant public health concern.

Globally, over 50 million individuals grapple with neurodegenerative disorders. Without proactive measures and the development of effective therapies, projections suggest this number could triple by 2050, with a new case emerging every 3 seconds. 

Despite considerable investment in medical research and the exploration of pharmaceutical and nanomedicine options, there is currently no cure for AD, and effective treatments remain limited. [1]

However, recent studies have illuminated a promising path: transcranial photobiomodulation, or brain light therapy. Transcranial photobiomodulation has emerged as a potential treatment and cognitive enhancer for various neurodegenerative conditions. By delivering red and near-infrared light to specific areas of the brain, it has the potential to substitute or complement pharmacological therapies, offering promising avenues for rejuvenating the central nervous system (CNS). [1]

This blog will delve into the fascinating findings from research on light therapy for individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Exploring Photobiomodulation's Impact on the Brain 

Photobiomodulation is a method that uses specific wavelengths of light to interact with cells and tissues. Unlike conventional heat-based methods which can cause burns, this non-invasive approach doesn't work from the outside in, but rather triggers cellular responses to try to make them healthier. 

For it to work, the light needs to be absorbed by certain parts of molecules in the cells to work. These parts are called chromophores, and they're responsible for giving molecules their color. When light is absorbed by a chromophore, it can change the shape of the molecule, which can have positive effects on the body.

Within cells, different molecular complexes absorb distinct colors of light. This light absorption can modulate cellular functions, particularly in structures like mitochondria, which play a crucial role in cellular energy production. [1]

Improving Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease Patients with Transcranial Photobiomodulation

In a study from 2017 [2], researchers targeted specific cortical regions implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathology with focused light therapy. They theorized that the photons enhanced the connections between brain regions, potentially explaining the improvements in cognitive function observed.

Thereby, they used light therapy on five people with mild to moderately severe dementia, finding significant improvements in memory and thinking tasks after 12 weeks. At the start, the patients' scores were around 17.4 for memory and 35.47 for thinking. After 12 weeks, these scores improved to around 20.00 and 28.73, respectively. 

The patients improved the most in the first 6 weeks of therapy. Their quality of life also improved, with fewer problems like incontinence, better sleep, less anger and anxiety, and improved mobility. The better test scores were backed by feedback from patients and caregivers about their improved quality of life. Caregivers felt happier during the treatment period when the patients' behavior improved.

Besides this, the changes seen in memory and thinking after 6 weeks were even better than those seen with a common dementia medication called donepezil. There were no reported side effects reported from the use of light therapy. 

This study suggests that transcranial photobiomodulation therapy may be safely used with mild to moderately severe dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


In summary, these studies present compelling evidence that light therapy could be a beacon of hope in the battle against Alzheimer's, offering tangible improvements in behavior, cellular function, and neural pathways crucial to combating this debilitating disease.

The research exploring this so far is promising and suggests that photobiomodulation could benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and its symptoms. 

In addition to its effectiveness, it is non-pharmacological and it doesn’t present any known side effects, making it a safe, user-friendly, and cost-effective choice.

Here at Neuronic, we reinvest all of our profits to pave the way for a future where light therapy can achieve widespread adoption, as scientific evidence suggests that this technology holds promise for everyone, whether you're addressing specific issues or simply aiming to enhance cognitive function.


[1] Ailioaie, L. M., Ailioaie, C., & Litscher, G. (2023). Photobiomodulation in Alzheimer's Disease-A Complementary Method to State-of-the-Art Pharmaceutical Formulations and Nanomedicine? Pharmaceutics, 15(3), 916. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15030916

[2] Saltmarche, A. E., Naeser, M. A., Ho, K. F., Hamblin, M. R., & Lim, L. (2017). Significant Improvement in Cognition in Mild to Moderately Severe Dementia Cases Treated with Transcranial Plus Intranasal Photobiomodulation: Case Series Report. Photomedicine and laser surgery, 35(8), 432–441. https://doi.org/10.1089/pho.2016.4227

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