Infrared Therapy Helmet for Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

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Testimonials from Emerson WorldWide Infrared Therapy Helmet patients:

Hi Sue, Just a quick note to let you know that, even though its early days, about one week now, we've already noticed some good signs of improvement. Dad's ability to focus and his speech have improved somewhat and I've even noticed a slight improvement in his movement when I walk him. So far it all seems pretty positive even to the point that dads asking if he can have extra session's. Initially I started with 2 x 20 minute sessions per day for the first 5 day's and currently have increased it to 3x 20 minute sessions. Kind regards gc, 7/2013

After 4 months of treatment:
The care of the patient has become much easier than before, "She has been more herself."
Her expression has changed to smiling from disinterestedness, "She laughs much more now…she has lost that “1000 yard stare.”
She is more cooperative and is showing more understanding to me, and her memory tests have improved. It appears that the condition of Alzheimer's disease has been blocked!

After 2 months of treatment:"I am getting a lot of vocal complaints from my wife for doing the treatments...I take this as a sign as she is getting all honesty, she is engaging people more in conversation and is more responsive than in the past few months." JN

"The brain SPECT scans for my wife showed a loss of blood flow in the frontal lobes....used it (helmet) with her facing the back of the helmet...had her wear a sleeping was a little cumbersome..." JN

"I told you I would let you know how the helmet is working for our Alzheimers patient. He has been using it for two months. He has been getting three, twenty minute treatments every day. We are seeing improvement since starting the treatments. He is much more in tune with what is going on around him and is starting conversations, which he had stopped doing a year ago. I am impressed!! I want to share this with other people that have Alzheimers. How can you spread the word? So many people have this and the helmet can help them." E. H. , Ilinois

“This is the way I look at our success with the helmet. Our patient is better than he was at the time we started his treatments. We will continue three-20 minute treatments per day. Is he brand new? No! He is not getting worse! Not at this time!” E. H. , Ilinois

Dr. xxxx called Emerson WorldWide to report that he took his wife to neurologist today and she scored 28 out of 30 on the MMSE memory test. In December she scored 24 out 30! JB, Arkansas

For more information about the UK research, Read the articles below.

Article # 1: 19 Jul 2008

Special helmet which beams infrared light into the brain could cure dementia
A helmet which beams low levels of infrared light into the brain could be a cure dementia after the first patient showed signs of improvement.

By Rupert Neate
Last Updated: 11:04PM BST 19 Jul 2008

The treatment has halted the aggressive memory loss of one man after just three weeks of wearing the helmet for ten minutes twice a day. However, it is too soon to know if the improvement is permanent.

Clem Fennel, a 57-year-old company director from the US, had been unable to perform the simplest of tasks before the treatment, but can now answer the phone and hold meaningful conversations.

His wife Vickey, 55, said: "He was fading away. It is as if he is back. His personality has started to show again. We are absolutely thrilled.

"Honestly, I can tell you that within ten days the deterioration stopped."

After four neurologists told Mr Fennel nothing could stop his mental decline, he flew to Britain to become the first person in the world to undergo the treatment developed by a family doctor in County Durham.

Dr Gordon Dougal invented the helmet, which features 700 light-emitting diodes which are designed to stimulate neurons in the brain, after seeing how successful the lasers were at treating cold sores.

He said the success of Mr Fennel's treat was "hugely significant," and hoped the device could eventually help thousands of dementia sufferers. However, a full clinical trial must be carried out before the helmet could be licensed for public use.

A spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Society, which is campaigning for new treatments to help 700,000 British dementia sufferers, said: "A treatment that reverses the effects of dementia rather than just temporarily halting its symptoms could change the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who live with this devastating condition.

"Non-thermal near infra-red treatment for people with dementia is a potentially interesting technique.

"We look forward to further research to determine whether it could help improve cognition in humans. Only then can we begin to investigate whether near infra-red could benefit people with dementia."

Article # 2: 15th July 2008

More about this same patient written on

Dementia patient makes 'amazing' progress after using infra-red helmet
By David Derbyshire

Last updated at 2:26 AM on 15th July 2008
Comments (0) Add to My Stories
Two months ago Clem Fennell was fading fast.
The victim of an aggressive type of dementia, the 57-year-old businessmen was unable to answer the phone, order a meal or string more than a couple of words together.
In desperation, his family agreed to try a revolutionary new treatment - a bizarre-looking, experimental helmet devised by a British GP that bathes the brain in infra-red light twice a day.
To their astonishment, Mr Fennel
"Dr Dougal has been a godsend to our family. There was nothing anyone could do to help Clem until now."

   It is too soon to say whether Dr Dougal's invention could help other sufferers. The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and dementia can vary from day to day - and relapses are not unusual. And not all patients may benefit from the treatment.
   Dr Dougal stressed that a full, clinically controlled trial would be needed before his anti-dementia helmet could be licensed for public use. A trial of 100 patients is expected to start later this year.
"I made it clear to the Fennells that I didn't know for a fact whether it would work or not, but the results are good," said Dr Dougal.
"He was monosyllabic when I first saw him, but if I ring up now he will answer the phone. He didn't have the verbal skills to do that three weeks ago."

   The Fennells have been told they can take the prototype helmet back to the US with them so they can continue the treatment at home.
Commercial versions of the helmet will include 700 LEDs and cost around £10,000.
   The Alzheimer’s Society said: "’A treatment that reverses the effects of dementia rather than just temporarily halting its symptoms could change the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who live with this devastating condition.

‘Non-thermal near infra-red treatment for people with dementia is a potentially interesting technique. We look forward to further research to determine whether it could help improve cognition in humans. Only then can we begin to investigate whether near infra-red could benefit people with dementia.’
One in three people will end their lives with a form of dementia. Around 700,000 suffer from dementia - with more than half having Alzheimer's disease.

Living with Dementia Magazine Living with dementia, March 2008
The helmet heading for success?
Results from experiments at the Universities of Sunderland and Durham have shown that when older mice are exposed to infrared light, their learning abilities become as good as those of younger mice.

Dr Gordon Dougal hopes this will help to prove that infrared light could be used to slow and even reverse the symptoms of people's dementia.Working with academic researchers, Dr Dougal plans to test whether a daily ten-minute session wearing a special helmet can reduce confusion and improve thinking and reasoning.

Intrigued by the effect Dr Paul Chazot is one of the neuroscientists based at Durham University who is working with Dr Dougal on the research. He said, 'I was as sceptical about this as anyone, but now with the results from the tests on mice I'm really intrigued to know what effect the light is having on the brain.'

Infrared light sits just out of our eyesight's reach. Dr Dougal, a GP with a background in engineering, has been investigating the effect that certain wavelengths of infrared light have on cells for many years.

In 1992 he discovered that a narrow band of infrared light could help to boost healing in skin cells, and has since developed a product that uses this light to treat cold sores. However, the idea that light beams might also improve the health of neurons such as brain cells has been with him for some time.

Dr Dougal says, 'I tested the idea in 1998, on myself first. I was 42, just the age when you start to notice your thought processing slowing down. After being exposed to the infrared light I felt I could think a little faster and most importantly there were no adverse effects. But the technology at the time made it all quite cumbersome and definitely not feasible as a treatment, so I shelved things for a while.'

Technology moved on and reliable, inexpensive light sources that could produce the correct wavelength of infrared light became available. Dr Chazot and his colleague at the University of Sunderland, Dr Abdel Ennaceur, lead researcher on the project, developed a simple behavioural test to investigate the effects of light sources on the emotional state and learning abilities of mice.

Dr Chazot says, 'We tested the learning ability of older mice in a maze compared to younger ones. The mice were exposed to six minutes of infrared light for ten days. The older mice took a little bit longer to make a decision, but they learnt as well as the younger ones.'

So what is the infrared light doing to the mice? Dr Chazot says, 'There's a clear effect, but we're not sure yet what mechanism is causing it. Perhaps it's boosting cell division in the brain, or raising the mice's metabolism. My bet is that it's something to do with the immune system in the brain, but we're working to pin it down.'

Heading for trials
Meanwhile, Dr Dougal is keen to test the effects on people and is planning a small trial using a helmet that will beam the specific infrared wavelength through the thinnest parts of the skull and into the brain. The low levels of infrared light occur naturally in sunlight and are completely safe.

He says, 'We'll be measuring the effect on people with mild dementia, looking at cognition and short term memory. I'm particularly interested to see if there's any effect on people's ability to carry out everyday tasks and improve their quality of life.'

Results from the trial should be available in the autumn. They could provide Dr Dougal with some interesting answers for his doubters. 'In 1997 I was told that the cold sore machine would never work, now it's available on the NHS. I really don't mind the sceptics, it makes it so much better if it does work.'

Article # 3: January 3, 2009

Could LED Light the way in the treating of Alzheimer's? 

  Infrared - light frequencies at the far end of the red spectrum - is used widely in medicine, particularly in lasers to heal scars and reduce wrinkles. But whereas lasers emit hot, high-energy light, low-level LED light is cooler and causes no pain.
'   It is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue,' says Dr Abdel Ennaceur of the University of Sunderland, who is assessing whether infrared light could reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's.
   Dr Ennaceur is testing a helmet that bathes the brain with infrared light. By wearing it for ten minutes a day, it is hoped that patients' memory and cognition will improve in just ten weeks.
   'Cells have been found to grow 150 per cent to 200 per cent faster than cells not given an infrared bath,' says Professor Harry Whelan of the Medical College of Wisconsin, where trials of infrared light for 80 seconds a day for two weeks prevented and treated throat and mouth ulcers in cancer patients.
At the University of Tel Aviv, infrared light promoted healing in people with nasal allergies.
So how does it work? 'At appropriate wavelengths and doses it is absorbed by molecules inside cells called chromophores,' says Professor Chukuka Enwemeka at the New York Institute of Technology. 'This energy is then converted into a biological form that can be used to heal cells.'
   Tissues can be triggered to grow back when exposed to certain light frequencies. LED infrared light is within the 'healing range' and can be absorbed up to a depth of 10cm.
It has been found to promote healing of skin, muscle, nerves, tendons, bone and gums - even to trigger the regeneration of spinal cord tissue.
  A range of health gadgets now harnesses infrared's healing power, from combs for hair growth and lamps for acne, to wands that can help cold sores to heal.
   Dr Whelan says: 'LED infrared light might one day help those who are paralysed to walk again. It could also prevent certain forms of blindness. There are all sorts of potential uses.'

Do you have a success story? We would love to hear from you!

Article 4:
18th January 2009

Bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett has been testing out a revolutionary helmet which is claimed to slow down or even reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Science fiction writer Sir Terry, 60, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2007, wore the strange-looking headgear once a day for three months and noticed a small improvement, his agent confirmed.
The prototype anti-dementia helmet, which must be worn for ten minutes each day, was designed by British GP Dr Gordon Dougal

It works by directing intense bursts of infrared light into the brain to stimulate the growth of brain cells.

Low-level infrared is thought to encourage cell growth in tissue and encourages it to repair.
Usual headwear: Sir Terry Pratchett
Dr Dougal believes it can reverse symptoms of dementia – such as memory loss and anxiety – after just four weeks and experts have described it as ‘potentially life-changing’.
He said: ‘I have spoken to Sir Terry. He is very concerned about the impact of his dementia on his work. He is scouring all of the latest literature about dementia.
‘He was assessed by a computer-based system at the outset. Sir Terry used the helmet for about three months. Over that period there was a small improvement. Not significant, which was a bit disappointing, but it didn’t get any worse.’
To ensure the helmet was a good fit, a friend of Sir Terry made a cast of the author’s head.

The helmet was then clamped to the back of an armchair at the recently knighted writer’s cottage home.
Sir Terry’s literary agent Colin Smythe said: ‘Yes, Sir Terry was using some sort of helmet and I think it’s going to be in a TV documentary which will be screened in February. He just wants to try everything.’
Dr Dougal, from Peterlee, County Durham, has already developed a hand-held gadget which uses the same technology to stimulate cold sores to heal themselves.
A clinical trial of the helmet is expected soon.


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