The Human Light Trials Begin
Three years on, Mr Burr and the other Tasmanians using their own light treatment have inspired an Australia-wide proof-of-concept clinical trial to test whether the lights are actually making a long-term difference to peoples health or whether its just a placebo effect.
The trial, run by The University of Sydney School of Medicine and Parkinsons SA, involves people from Brisbane, South Australia and Sydney.
Some participants are using placebo lights, while others are using red and near-infrared lights on their heads and stomachs.
Catherine Hamilton, a retired Tasmanian specialist occupational physician who specialises in photobiomodulation and helped Mr Burr with his light treatment, is developing helmets with her electronics expert friend Ron Brown for Sydney trial participants.
For people with Parkinsons the lights are giving them an improvement now, right now, theyre not having to wait 10 years for a pill, Dr Hamilton said.
Ann Liebert from the University of Sydney, who is co-ordinating the trial, said she had worked with light therapy for 10 years and had seen many positive results.
We have medical evidence and case study evidence, so nows the time to look at experimental evidence at a higher level, she said.
Professor Simon Lewis, a neurologist who specialises in Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease, said people with Parkinsons experienced progressive and relentless brain cell death.
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Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style Walker
If you wish to have a walker that has all standard features plus a stylish look and comes with a reasonable price on Amazon, Drive medical nitro euro style walker is the one you should seriously consider.
The walker serves as a great aid for people with mobility problems like Parkinsons disease. Using it provides increased safety, flexibility, and great walking comfort. It is crafted with a high-quality aluminum frame with a built-in brake cable for extra safety and protection. The overall frame of the walker is very stable and safe. It can handle a weight of up to 350 pounds.
A feature you may not see in other walkers is its big front wheels that help you smoothly go through very rough surfaces like stone roads and lawns. Also, the walker is very handy. It can be folded and you can take it in the trunk of your car and enjoy outdoor gatherings with your family and friends.
Lasers Attached To Shoes Create Visual Cues To Help The Mobility Of People With Parkinson’s Disease
Designer and biologist Lise Pape is helping people with Parkinson’s walk by putting lasers on their shoes.
For people with Parkinson’s disease, a common symptom is something called “freezing of gait,” which is a temporary inability to step forward.
One of the dangers of freezing of gait is that it can lead to falls. “The person wants to go someplace, but suddenly the feet don’t follow. So the body is in motion but suddenly your feet aren’t walking with you,” Pape told Spark host Nora Young. “People describe as if suddenly feeling glued to the floor and simply unable to take another step. And it’s very distressing both for them and for the person next to them.”
Pape’s invention, called Path Finder, uses a laser strapped to a pair of shoes to project a perpendicular line on the floor in front of the wearer. The laser line gives them a kind of target to step over and begin moving forward again.
People with Parkinson’s often have difficulty walking on flat surfaces, but find they are able to walk on staircases. While freezing of gait is not very well understood, research has shown that visual cues, like steps, can help. Pape created Path Finder after noticing her father, who has Parkinson’s, was only able to move forward when she put her foot out in front of him. The line created by Path Finder acts like a step, providing a visual cue that allowing them to focus their movement.
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Aids Daytime Sleepiness And Other Sleep Disorders
Humans rest and wake based on a daily cycle called the circadian rhythm. Both light and melatonin play a role in the regularity of the cycle. Many people with PD suffer from sleep disturbances. It is thought that NIr may play a role in improving healthy sleep patterns.3
People with Parkinsons often experience excessive daytime sleepiness, general fatigue, nighttime sleep disturbances, and depression all of which can affect healthy sleep and the circadian rhythm. According to research reported in the February 2017 JAMA Neurology Journal, light therapy significantly reduced daytime sleepiness, improved sleep quality, decreased overnight awakenings, improved daytime alertness and activity level, and improved motor symptoms in people with Parkinsons.6
Different kinds of light therapy have been used effectively for other sleep, psychiatric, and medical conditions for decades. NIr continues to be studied in the clinical setting in order to determine how it can best be applied in treating Parkinsons and other medical conditions. Long-term, large scale controlled studies will help to better evaluate the efficacy of NIr as way to mitigate symptoms as well as possibly slow or limit or reverse disease progression.
Limitations Side Effects And Long
Baltuch cautions, however, that focused ultrasound thalamotomy is not without risk or side effects, there are limitations, and there are not yet long-term studies.
- Side effects: Side effects include difficulty walking or unsteadiness following the procedure, along with tingling or numbness in the lips or fingers. Most issues resolve within months.
- Limitations: Currently, only one side of the body can be treated. Earlier forms of surgical ablation sometimes resulted in speech difficulties, so for now, the FDA has limited treatment to one side of the brain. The side that controls the patients dominant hand is usually targeted. INSIGHTEC is exploring bilateral treatment in medical centers outside the U.S. In addition, while treatment can reduce or eliminate tremors on one side of the body, it does not stop other symptoms of Parkinsons or slow disease progression.
- Long-term studies: Because five- and 10-year studies have not yet been conducted, We dont yet long-term effectiveness of focused ultrasound thalamotomy for tremor-dominant Parkinsons and essential tremor, says Baltuch. The published data show that this may not be as effective in tremor reduction as, potentially, deep brain stimulation can. And, although its non-invasive, youre still making a thermal lesion .
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Path Finder Laser Shoes
These lightweight shoes were first launched in 2017 and since then they have helped many Parkinsons patients to walk freely without encounter gait problems. These were designed by Lise Pape, who was a graduate student at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College of London, and now the CEO and founder of Walk With Path.
The main unit of Path Finder shoes is the laser device which is attached to the rubber strap that can easily fit a shoe. When switching on, the laser unit initiates a bright green line which can be calibrated by rotating the laser unit. The laser line attracts the attention of the patient and allows the patients focus on moving forward.
Easy Fold And Go Walker
If youre looking for a standard lightweight walker that is ideal for traveling and has an affordable price, think about this Easy Fold and Go walker. This newly designed mobility aid opens and folds up easily for stress-free portability. This easy-to-use rolling walker, with its sturdy design, allows users to walk with confidence, outdoors and indoors!
This walker is so portable that with the lift of a finger, the Easy Fold and Go Walker easily folds allowing it to be stored in a car, shopping cart, the overhead compartment of an airplane, or discreetly by the users side when not in use.
When it comes to the overall framing, the walker looks very stable, secure, and easily cleanable. Its crafted in a way that supports a weight of up to 400 lbs.
The walker has a height adjustment feature that allows the walker height to be easily adjusted to accommodate users from 4 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 8 inches tall. The 6 inches swivel wheels and rear easy-glide feet allow the user to easily maneuver the walker.
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How It Is Different
Most devices that provide sensory cueing/feedback for FoG are research devices. Many of these methods are not portable and cannot be used outside the lab environment. Additionally, most devices use cues of a single type: visual, auditory or tactile. Some portable devices are already on the market such as Agilitas, Path Finder, Walk to Beat and Walk Aid. However, as far as we know, no device on the market exists that integrates all three forms of sensory cueing to overcome FoG. Our Parkinson Smart Cane integrates visual, tactile and auditory feedback into a self contained, portable device.
Laser Pointer Helps Parkinson’s Patients Take Next Step
- University Of Rochester
- A patient’s discovery that an everyday laser pointer helps him walk may point the way toward an effective remedy for a common and frustrating symptom of Parkinson’s disease.
A patient’s discovery that an everyday laser pointer helps him walk may point the way toward an effective remedy for a common and frustrating symptom of Parkinson’s disease. The patient’s physicians at the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital are presenting the results of a study involving just a few patients at this week’s meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Toronto. While the small size of the study should make patients and doctors pause before assuming the treatment will help, the authors say neurologists would do well to have a laser pointer handy to let patients give it a try.
The simple device seems to help patients overcome freezing episodes, where patients’ legs literally freeze in place as they’re trying to walk. For about 30 percent of Parkinson’s patients, this “sudden transient freezing” is one of the most difficult symptoms of the disease. The episodes can last for seconds or even several minutes. Some patients experience only momentary hesitation occasionally, while for others the episodes occur dozens of times a day, making almost any simple movement from room to room a laborious task taking several minutes.
Explore the latest scientific research on sleep and dreams in this free online course from New Scientistâ
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Cellular And Molecular Mechanisms Of Lllt
LLLT uses low-powered laser light in the range of 1-1000 mW, at wavelengths from 632-1064 nm, to stimulate a biological response. These lasers emit no heat, sound, or vibration. Instead of generating a thermal effect, LLLT acts by inducing a photochemical reaction in the cell, a process referred to as biostimulation or photobiomodulation. Photo-biology works on the principle that, when light hits certain molecules called chromophores, the photon energy causes electrons to be excited and jump from low-energy orbits to higher-energy orbits. In nature, this stored energy can be used by the system to perform various cellular tasks, such as photosynthesis and photomorphogenesis. Numerous examples of chromophores exist in nature, such as chlorophyll in plants, bacteriochlorophyll in blue-green algae, flavoproteins, and hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The respective colors of chromophores are determined by the part of the spectrum of light they absorb: chlorophyll is green, flavoprotein is yellow, and hemoglobin is red .
Illustration of mitochondrion, as well as of the electron transport chain and oxidative metabolism.
Complex IV is the principal chromophore involved in low-level light therapy. It has 2 copper centers and 2 heme prosthetic groups. Cytochrome c is oxidized and oxygen is reduced to water during respiration.
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Walking Aids To Help With Freezing Of Gait
Often freezing of gait cannot be overcome with medication adjustment and physical therapy, and a walking aid needs to be introduced for safety and walking support.
There are many types of walkers that are available for people with walking difficulties. Here is a simple guide:
- Basic walker this is usually just a metal frame without wheels
- Wheeled walker a metal frame with wheels. The wheels may be on two or four legs and the wheels may swivel or be fixed
- Rollator a walker with swivel wheels on all four legs and hand brakes. The brakes typically need to be engaged for the walker to stop. Often the rollator has a seat and a basket for convenience.
A common concern with all these walkers is that there either is no braking system or the braking system must be engaged in order for the walker to be stopped. Therefore, if a freeze occurs with the feet stuck to the floor, and the person is not fast enough to engage the brake, the walker will continue to move, potentially precipitating a fall.
Your physical therapist can help you determine the walking aid that is best-suited for your specific situation.
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Up Walker Large Posture Walker Mobility Aid
Like other standing walkers, this stands-up walking aid is designed in a way to provide increased stability and safety for Parkinsons patients who have difficulty walking.
But the good thing about this walker is that it has an adjustable armrest support feature. This provides additional support for patients with weak upper body or stooped posture. The padded armrests are height adjustable and extend or shorten, to provide comfortable support. The handgrips easily pivot for optimal wrist position.
The walker also comes with padded handles to help patients transition between sitting and standing easier and safer. It also has ergonomic hand brakes that allow the brakes to be easily locked and provide better control. Whereas, the comfortable fabric seat with a backrest provides a helpful seat when needed.
Its four large 8-inch, multi-terrain rubber wheels allow the walker to navigate smoothly on all outdoor surfaces such as grass, gravel, and even snow. And about its overall frame it is light, sturdy, and highly durable. You can take it with you outside of your home, walking around, and enjoy the outdoor scenes.
The Potential Of Light Therapy In Parkinsons Disease
Accepted for publication 10 December 2013
18 February 2014Volume 2014:4Pages 114
The current gold standard treatments for Parkinsons disease are very effective at attenuating the motor signs, at least initially. However, they do not reliably slow the progression of the disease neurons continue to die during the course of treatment. The discovery of new therapeutic approaches that offer neuroprotection against parkinsonian insult is therefore paramount. In this context, several recent studies in animal models of Parkinsons disease, as well as other models of disease , have reported that red to infrared light therapy can be neuroprotective. There is real potential for the development of light therapy as a treatment option for Parkinsons disease patients one that slows the ongoing neuronal death and progression of the disease.
Overview of Parkinsons disease
Current therapies for Parkinsons disease
Dopamine drug therapy
In general, these drug treatments have very good early symptomatic effects, but their longer-term neuroprotective or disease modifying effects are far from clear. For example, although drugs such as selegiline and rasagiline have been tested as putative neuroprotective agents in clinical trials, their ability to actually stop neuronal death and slow the pathology of the disease has yet to be demonstrated.26
What is light therapy and how does it offer neuroprotection?
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How Does The U
U-Step 2 Walking Stabilizer is an easy-to-use rollator walker. It has a reverse braking system . It doe not move until you squeeze the hand brakes. You dont need to use force to push the walker. Instead, gently squeeze the brakes and step forward. Keep yourself closer to the walker while walking. When the brakes are released, the walker stops immediately from moving. Avoid squeezing the brakes while seated.
If you want to project a bright red laser, press the button located near the right-hand brake. When the laser light lane is projected, step towards the light, move the walker and step forward again.
You can adjust the best place for your walk by using the beeping feature, located either near to the right-hand brake or below the padded seat. The walker has 11 settings of beep speed, which can be controlled with the help of two buttons. The upper button is used to increase the speed whereas the lower is used to decrease the walkers speed.
Knobs on both sides of the walker are used to adjust the height. The walker is very light and can be folded into a flat shape, you can take it with you in your car.
Treating Freezing Of Gait For People With Parkinsons
Freezing of gait episodes often occur when a person is under-medicated and can improve with increased amounts of their PD meds, usually carbidopa/levodopa. However, as mentioned earlier, the brain abnormalities that lead to freezing of gait are very complex, so giving more dopaminergic medication is only part of the solution. In fact, some people have what is referred to as ON freezing. This means that freezing of gait episodes occur even when other PD symptoms are well treated with their medication regimen.
Cueing, or the introduction of an external sensory stimulus to facilitate movement, has been identified as a way to break a freezing episode. Terry Ellis, PhD, PT, NCS, Director of the APDA National Rehabilitation Resource Center at Boston University, and Tami DeAngelis, PT, GCS, compiled this list of cues that can be used to get out of a freezing episode:
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Lots Of Other Factors At Play: Expert
Professor Lewis added the placebo effect was very real.
The truth of the matter is there are lots of matters at play, yes people who are using these lights at home on their own are subject to an enormous placebo effect, theres no doubt about that, which is why more well-constructed trials are , he said.
There are other factors that can play on why patients might feel better, even in the period of the same day the way that the tablets work, the level of chemical in the brain, especially when the disease progresses, can fluctuate.
Ninety per cent of Parkinsons patients have poor sleep for lots of different reasons, and of course a bad nights sleep means a bad day the next day.
As well as Parkinsons disease, the trials will also look at the effect red light treatment is having on people with Alzheimers and cardiac disease.
Researchers will test blood, red bloods cells and measure gut microbiome to see what effect the lights are having.
Trials across each state are being conducted at different times.
The Queensland placebo trial has now concluded and results are being analysed. The South Australia and Sydney trails have recently started and results are expected to be known later this year.