Hey, guys. All right, so today's article that I'm going to talk about has to do with brain degenerating diseases or conditions, and the effect that infrared light can have on it. Let me give you the reference for the article so you can go find it. I want to make sure the authors get credit for this. It's another interesting one I read that I wanted to discuss with you. This is discuss ... It's called Brain Regeneration: Can Infrared Light Reverse Parkinson's and Alzheimer's? This was published on Green Med Info, and it was by Senior Researcher Ali Le Vere, L-E-V-E-R-E. This was November 21, 2017. It starts out ... For years and years and years, decades, we really didn't think that nerve cells could regenerate.
They were considered to be one of the few cell types in the body that just wouldn't regenerate. You were born with what you had, you grew some as you were an infant, and then you reached a point where you were done. You just didn't regenerate anymore. But on about the 1960s, definitely by the early 1970s, we kind of knew that that wasn't the case, that there were ways that brain cells could regenerate. We started to find chemical messengers that would encourage them to regenerate, like something called BDNF, which is brain-derived neurotrophic factor. We found stem cells for nerve tissue that would allow it to regenerate. We knew that that could happen. Now we're starting to figure out what makes it happen, what entices that to happen.
This is looking specifically at the ability of certain infrared light, certain spectrums of infrared light, to regenerate some nerve tissue and looking at the applications for that in things like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Alzheimer's can be caused ... We're going to talk about Alzheimer's first. We think it can be caused by several different things, one of which is dysfunction in the mitochondria in the brain. Now, the mitochondria, we all know from high school they're the powerhouses of the cell. Everybody seems to remember that. But mitochondria, my analogy for people is, if you put crude oil in the gas tank of your car, but you had a little mechanism in the trunk that converted that to gasoline and sent it up to the engine, that mechanism would be the mitochondria.
We have those in our cells, all except for our red blood cells. They don't have any. But all the rest of our cells do, and the cells that have the highest concentration of the mitochondria are the brain, the eyes, and the heart. Sometimes, they can have up to thousands of mitochondria per cell because they're very energy-intense cells. They use processes that require a lot of energy. We know that infrared light, especially near-infrared light, but infrared light has a significant impact on the health of the mitochondria. Mitochondria communicate with each other with light. They send little photoflashes to each other to communicate and coordinate. One of the things that damages mitochondria is exposure to things like LED lights like we have here in this office. They interrupt the communication ability of the mitochondria.
We know already that infrared light, or light in general, can be important to the mitochondria and the health of the mitochondria. But when we're looking at things like traumatic brain injury, Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS, which is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's Parkinson's, anything that involves ... even multiple sclerosis ... anything that involves neuro or neurodegeneration may be helped by exposure to near-infrared light. The article does a pretty good job of laying out the ideologies for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, how they develop, where the damage is, what the damage is like, and then kind of talking about how near-infrared light can make a difference in that. It's interesting. I want to bring this up because you don't see this written very frequently.
I think you're going to see more of it in the future. But talking about the kind of outdated philosophy that brain cells couldn't regenerate, they say ... I'm going to quote here from the article ... "Another nail in the coffin of this antiquated perception of the nervous system was that neural stem cells, these multipotent, self-renewing progenitors from which new neurons arise, were found in the brains of adult mammals ..." And we thought for a long time they were clearly saying that mammals did not have brains or nervous systems that could regenerate ... "and discovered to undergo expansion in their populations when promoted by signaling molecules called growth factors and morphogens."
Now, morphogens may sound similar, or it may sound familiar to some of you because standard process isolates growth factors from different tissues and sells them as protomorphogens, or PMGs. That's exactly what they're talking about here. There is a neurotrophin PMG, which is a pill containing, other than a few things to hold it together, basically those nerve-related protomorphogens that give the signal to the cells that it's time to regenerate and make new nerve tissue. And they have those for other tissues as well, but that's outside today's discussion. I thought that was interesting they actually named morphogens in there. They're talking about using, like, a near-infrared light helmet to help Alzheimer's patients because their lesions tend to be in the more superficial parts of the brain
And then for Parkinson's patients, where the death of the cells is deeper in the brain in an area called the substantia nigra ... That's where you make dopamine ... they have ... And they don't list it in here as a product, but there are ways of doing this, where they have a near-infrared light emitter that actually goes intranasally. When it gets up near the back of the nasal passages and the sinuses, it's much closer to the brain stem, and you can deliver that near-infrared light right to where the damage has occurred and start to see some resolution with that. They see changes in, not so much in humans, because the trials have been very limited in humans, but in animal models, they see changes in the volume of the brain, the health of the brain tissue. The functions of the animals improve.
We're certainly seeing that it shows substantial promise, even in things like multiple sclerosis. It's very obvious that near-infrared light either slows or stops the destruction of these nerve cells, or it actually entices them to heal and repair and regenerate and get back some tissue. We're not to the point yet where treatment protocols have been outlined, but it certainly seems that this is an area where we're moving into as far as treating patients with neurodegenerative problems. You know I'm a big fan of infrared saunas. I have one at home that I use regularly. I suggest them to patients on a regular basis. The one I use is full spectrum, so it's got near and far infrared light that it uses. That's not getting deep into the brain stem areas, but it's at least doing the superficial areas, and it's getting into the, you know, helping the mitochondria and lots of different cells.
Very exciting areas that we're moving into now, but I wanted to bring up that article and share it with you. I know you're not likely to come across that one on your own. Green Med Info is where that came from, Ali Le Vere, and this is Brain Regeneration: Can Infrared Light Reverse Parkinson's and Alzheimer's? Go look it up. Do a little reading if you want to. It's a good eight or nine pages long. Worth the time to read it if you have a parent with an issue like that or if you know that you're at risk because of your family history. That's it for today. Look forward to talking to you again tomorrow. Until then, as I always say, eat for your health, train for performance, and live the life you love today. Have a good one.