Tags: ms | multiple | sclerosis | light

Can Light Therapy Heal Multiple Sclerosis?

Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 02:59 PM

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New research has found a promising potential new treatment for multiple sclerosis: Light therapy, the Medical Express Website reports. 
 
Multiple sclerosis progressively destroys nerve cells and the spinal cord, leading to paralysis, vision loss, and cognitive problems.
 
But researcher Jeri-Anne Lyons has found the disease responds to a radical therapy — exposure to a certain wavelength of light called near-infrared (NIR), according to Medical Express.
 
"Never in a million years did I think it would help," said Lyons, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), who studies the role of the immune response in MS.
 
But it did. In rodents, early MS-like symptoms were treated with exposure to NIR light for a week, alternating with a week of no light. The clinical condition of the mice improved.
Scientists have known for years that certain wavelengths of light in can heal, but they are only now uncovering exactly how it works.
 
In applying NIR light therapy to MS, Lyons discovered the light had an effect on the activities of the animal's genes. It turns out, molecules that would make the disease worse were weakened after exposure to the light, and the ones responsible for improvement were strengthened.

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