Red Light Therapy for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other forms of dementia affect more than 1 in 10 US adults over the age of 65. These diseases are devastating, causing memory loss, disorientation, behavior changes, and an eventual loss of independent functioning. Effective treatments are limited but are desperately needed, especially ones that are safe and have minimal side effects.

In recent years one treatment that has shown success in reducing the symptoms of AD and dementia is therapy with red and near infrared light (often referred to as “red light therapy”). In 2021, a comprehensive review of 10 studies of dementia patients treated with red light therapy found that every one of them reported positive results. 

Red light therapy for AD is usually applied to the brain, but it can also be applied to the gut. This is because light therapy to the gut affects the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is known to communicate extensively with the brain (called the gut-brain axis) and to influence functions like mood and patterns of brain communication. A 2022 clinical trial combined red light therapy to the brain and gut in patients with mild to moderate AD. Patients receiving red light therapy showed improved cognitive function relative to the control group. Research has also shown that red light therapy benefits patients with AD when combined with exercise.

There are many benefits of light therapy in AD and dementia that occur on a cellular level. These include improving the production of cellular energy, decreasing brain inflammation, and reducing cellular stress – which may ultimately decrease the production of amyloid plaques, which buildup in the brain of AD patients. Red light therapy has also been shown to improve blood flow to the brain. Benefits are from direct absorption of light into the brain as well as by superficial blood and lymphatic vessels in the head. The brain may also benefit when light therapy is applied to other locations on the body, such as the gut and various acupuncture points.

As a comfortable tool for targeted cellular healing, cognitive function, and brain health, the Fringe red light therapy head wrap contains 450 LED light chips to provide light therapy and light coverage over the forehead, top, sides and back of the head. With wavelengths of red (650nm), near infrared (810nm), and deep penetrating near infrared light (1050nm), it delivers light to the front, back, and sides of the head. Unlike most devices on the market, the Fringe red light therapy head wrap is wireless and flexible, making it both comfortable and portable. 

Dr. Genevieve Newton, DC, PhD  spent close to 20 years as a researcher and educator in the field of nutritional sciences before joining Fringe as its Scientific Director. Gen’s job is to “bring the science” that supports Fringe’s products and education. She is passionate about all things Fringe, and is a deep believer in healing body, mind and spirit using the gifts of the natural world. 

The contents in this blog; such as text, content, graphics are intended for educational purposes only. The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider.

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