It seems that a brilliant doctor in the UK has come up with an amazing piece of machinery and convinced a famous author to wear it in order to stave off the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s the machinery… looks like a mind control device or something – too bad It’s not going to work.
According to the news article about this amazing technology:
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.
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’.
So what do I find so troubling about this whole thing? Well…besides the basic stink of something not quite right. From what I’ve heard in the past (I make no claim to actually know anything of substance here) Infrared light encounters a lot of problems getting through much more than a couple centimeters of brain tissue. Check out optical imaging for example. I can’t imagine that, even if this technique could induce neurogenesis or keep plaques and tangles from forming under direct stimuliation, the light could even make it to the inferior temporal cortex where a lot of the action in Alzheimer’s occurs. Ohh well… I guess there’s always going to be some idiot doctor and some idiot author who are going to convince some other idiots to spend money on something like this.