The Potential of Treating Alzheimer’s disease with Intranasal Light Therapy

Photobiomodulation Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the only one among the top 10 diseases in the United States with deaths increasing. It is extremely debilitating to the families, and its vast economic cost urgently calls for an effective treatment. Yet todate, none has been found to be effective.

Intranasal light therapy offers a biophysical solution with sound scientific bases. It operates on the principle of photobiomodulation, a biological phenomenon that is gaining increasing recognition amongst cellular biologists and neurologists. The use of photobiomodulation for pain treatment, wound healing, skin rejuvenation and hair growth are becoming common place in clinical practice. There is increasing literature on neurological healing with the use of the transcranial light therapy method.

A fundamental principle of photobiomodulation is that cells with mitochondria that are not in homeostasis would enter into the process to restore homeostasis when exposed to low intensity light in the red to near infrared red wavelengths. This is also observed for neurons under oxidative stress. If similar light energy can reach neurons that are degenerating, as in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, we expect to observe a similar restorative response.

Many of the key regions of the brain that suffer degeneration and contribute to the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease are located in the underside and middle parts of the brain. They are easily accessible from the nasal cavity, requiring less input energy and more certainty than if directed from the outside of the skull to achieve the same outcomes. This also allows a low cost and user-friendly device to be developed, resulting in this proposal for an intranasal light therapy device to treat this disease.

Based on literature and observed results, an effective offering is a low intensity light in the 810 nm near infrared red (NIR) wavelength pulsing at 10 Hz. Energy in the region of 10 -15 mW/cm² delivered over 25 to 30 minutes, can deliver the necessary dosage.

Based on an understanding of the scientific bases, various treatment protocols can be recommended. In the advanced stage where there is massive degeneration in the neocortex regions, a treatment that combines intranasal light therapy with the transcranial method could have added therapeutic effects.