A clinical trial aimed at slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s disease was launched in France, after the “successful” operation that was performed on a first patient, which consisted of implanting her brain implant that emits near infrared light, as announced Friday by the Grenoble University Hospital (southeast France) and the Atomic Energy Commission. French.
The two institutions explained in a statement that this new therapeutic approach, which has been laboratory-confirmed for its effectiveness in animals, “can slow the loss of motor functions in patients” with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease that affects more than 6.5 million people worldwide, and there is no availability. Treat him.
“Deep brain stimulation” with an electrode in the brain can significantly relieve symptoms, but it does not slow down the degenerative process.
As for the new technology, which was reached years ago at the experimental level, it is represented in “the production of light close to infrared radiation (a certain range of wavelengths) near the area of the brain that suffers from degradation,” as explained by Professor Stefan Shapardis of the University of Grenoble-Alps .
The neurosurgeon added, “In mice, rats and monkeys, it has been shown that this infrared radiation has significant effects on slowing the death of nerve cells” related to the disease.
With this in mind, the French Atomic Energy Commission, together with the Grenoble-Alpes Hospital, the University of Grenoble-Alps, and the Boston Scientific Corporation, which specializes in medical devices, have initiated a probe that, once implanted in the human brain, will be able to emit this infrared light, without harmful effects. .
In contrast to deep brain stimulation that emits an electrical charge, “near-infrared light targets the dark matter in the brain, where the neurons responsible for the symptoms of the disease degenerate,” according to Chabardis.
By illuminating dark matter, photons of light act on affected cells, as if they were returning energy. “It worked in animals, but we have to be careful,” Professor Chapardis added.
On March 24, a neurosurgeon “successfully” operated on a woman with the disease who had joined the clinical trial. The research team aims to have 14 patients involved in the protocol over a four-year period.
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