A new study is adding evidence to the idea that beaming infrared light into the brain can perk up brain function and perhaps even ease symptoms of dementia.
At the U.K.’s Durham University, 14 volunteers ages 45 and older were treated to the beams. Over four weeks, they donned headgear resembling a bicycle helmet studded out with 14 fan-cooled infrared LED lights.
The lights beamed infrared light at a frequency of 1,068 nanometers deep into the volunteers’ brains for six minutes twice a day.
A control group of 13 people put on the same kind of helmet for the same periods but the helmet wasn’t activated.
Compared to their performance before the study, those who received the treatment “significantly” improved their performance in motor function, memory, mathematical processing, and brain processing speed compared to those who wore the dummy helmets. 
No adverse side effects were reported by either group.
Previous studies at the university found that light treatments improved memory and dissolved amyloid brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients.
The beams stimulate mitochondria, the cells that produce ATP, which the body uses as fuel, the researchers theorize; cells then use the spurt of extra fuel to work better and faster.
The light treatments also boost levels of nitric oxide in the brain, increasing blood flow. 
Their treatment might also benefit persons struggling with traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, or other brain-related disorders, the scientists said.
TRENDPOST: Durham’s research further underscores the groundshift in medicine away from treating conditions with synthetic drugs and other treatments that can be as bad as the illness, and toward using benign therapies, including the body’s own biochemicals, to combat disease.

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