Infrared … New Hope for Parkinson’s Patients | Health | A must for better health | DW


After the success of the first operation to implant a device that emits a near-infrared light in the brain, a clinical trial was launched in France aimed at slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease in patients with it.

Both the Grenoble University Hospital in southeastern France and the French Atomic Energy Commission, in a statement issued by the two institutions, said that this new treatment approach, which has been laboratory-confirmed for its effectiveness in animals, “could slow the loss of motor functions in patients” with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a “neurodegenerative” condition that affects more than 6.5 million people worldwide, and no treatment is available for it. However, “deep brain stimulation” with an electrode in the brain can greatly relieve symptoms, but it does not slow down the neurodegeneration due to disease.

As for the new technology that was reached years ago at the experimental level, it is to “produce a light near infrared rays near the area that suffers from degradation in the brain,” according to the description of the neurosurgeon and professor at the University of Grenoble-Alpes Stephane Chapardis.

“In mice, rats and monkeys, this infrared radiation has been shown to have significant effects on slowing the death of disease-related neurons,” added Chabardis.

The French Atomic Energy Commission, in cooperation with the University of Grenoble-Alps and its affiliated hospital, and Boston Scientific, which specializes in the manufacture of medical devices, adopted a probe that, once implanted in the human brain, would be able to emit infrared radiation without harmful effects.

Chapardis explained that, unlike the deep brain stimulation that emits an electrical charge, near-infrared lighting targets “the black matter in the brain, which is the site of the degeneration of neurons responsible for symptoms of the disease.” By illuminating the dark matter, the light directed toward the affected cells acts as a return to energy.

And last March, Chabardis “successfully” performed the probe implantation surgery on a woman with Parkinson’s disease who had joined the clinical trial. The research team seeks to include 14 other patients in the trial as part of a medical protocol that will last for four years.

DB / A.H (AFP)


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