The Daily Mail today published a brief article describing a new research report that appeared yesterday in the research journal Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. The report documents the effectiveness of brief intensive transcranial light stimulation using near infrared light at 1065-1080nm. The results with a cohort of normal subjects showed that the group receiving active treatment improved on measures of memory, motor functioning and processing speed. This supports the findings of the recently published report by Baylor Research Institute and Quietmind Foundation on the use of this same device with 100 subjects diagnosed with Alzheimer's and some also with Parkinson's disease. The results in both trials were very similar and quite encouraging. Further studies are needed to refine the treatment method for different clinical groups. The Cognitolite device is now available through Quietmind Foundation as well as the QM-Neuronic device that also uses the 1070nm frequency but allow for control of stimulation pulse rate, duration and intensity.
New research from Univ. of Virginia Brain Immunology and Glia lab is showing how microglia influences cortical perfusion by controlling expansion and contraction of capillaries. This important finding supports previously reported findings on how transcranial photobiomodulation (PBM) could effect] cortical perfusion. In the study conducted at Quietmind Fdn., researchers used near infrared spectroscopy to measure the change in perfusion volume at the cortex surface from repeated, brief exposure to 1070nm pulsed PBM. Further, recent investigations have now shown how this type of therapeutic application of PBM can improve both cognitive, mood and motor functioning in people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
Devices based on these findings are now available under clinical supervision through Quietmind Foundation. Inquiries should be directed to Marvin Berman PhD 610-940-0488
Read the UVA article here.
I thought this worth sharing for anyone struggling with neuropathy. Pay close attention to the dosing process employed here, starting with 30 seconds of treatment once a day. This is why it is strongly recommended that you use these devices under clinical supervision and not rely on manufacturers instructions for guidanc on best use of photobiomodulation devices.
I started using the Vielight Neuro Gamma PBM helmet on 4/16/2021. At that time, I was experiencing severe pain and leg weakness from an auto-immune neurological disorder, significant irritable bowel syndrome manifested by chronic constipation (IBS-C), recurrent chest pain due to a lung infection, excessive fatigue and depression. My auto-immune disorder and related medical issues problems had been steadily worsening since May 2019. By April 2021 I had trouble climbing more than three steps, walking more than a city block, carrying out simple house work or grocery shopping and chronic pain that averaged 5-8 daily (on a scale of 1 – 10).
My symptoms also interfered with memory and concentration.
I initially started using the Vielight as an alternative to increasingly powerful opioid pain killers. I tried the gamma stimulation for a 30 second interval once a day. I found the stimulation disruptive (it increased my irritability and depressed my mood). I then tried the alpha stimulation for 30 seconds, and slowly increased by 30 seconds to 5 minutes once a day. In June, after 2 months, I went to twice a day (morning and early evening) alpha stimulation with 5 minute durations.
I noticed that the severe neuropathic pain (burning, tingling in my legs and arms) as well as the severe joint pain in my knees, hands, wrists, and hips slowly decreased after about a month of daily use. I also noticed that my pain level would shoot back up if I skipped a day, and was excruciating if I skipped two days. I have discontinued strong pain killers and now only need an occasional Tylenol. In addition, my mood stabilized and markedly improved after 3 months of twice daily use. I use the Vielight while watching TV or reading the paper.
Prior to using the Vielight, I reached a point where I could not stand for more than 15 minutes or carry groceries over 5 pounds. I had to take stimulant medication in order to get out of bed. If I didn't take the medication, I needed daily hour-long naps in the mid-afternoon and didn’t have the energy to do anything. At times over the past two years, I have needed to use a cane or walker to be able to get around in my own home and couldn't walk more than 1/2 city block. Now, I can stand for several hours, easily ascend and descend two flights of stairs, and recently walked over 3,000 steps.
I had two episodes of severe colitis over the past year (one requiring hospitalization) and was taking prescription strength medication to address chronic constipation. In mid-September I started to taper the medication and as of October, no longer have a problem with constipation and have discontinued this medication. My strength has improved to a point that in early September I was able to resume food shopping, cooking, and light housework.
In early October 2021, (after 6 months of use) I started added 2 minutes of gamma stimulation followed by 5 minutes of alpha once a day in the morning, and a separate 5 minute session of alpha stim. in the afternoon. I will slowly increase the length of gamma stimulation. I immediately notice improved mental clarity. (For example, on 10/5 I suggested to my daughter’s NP that they check my daughter’s hormone blood levels and consider using Botox injections for pelvic pain).
Lastly, no more suicidal ideation.
Call 267-481-3987 for more information or write MarvinBerman@quietmindfdn.org
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
A Florida trial court has denied a defendant’s Daubert motion to strike the plaintiff’s expert’s testimony regarding qEEG testing. In Snyder v. ESURANCE Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Case No. 01-2018-CA-2651 (8th Judicial Circ. Ala. Chua. Cty., FL), the defendant sought to bar the testimony of Dr. Lisa Avery, an eligible board neurologist, from testifying regarding her interpretation of a quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG). To support its motion, the defendant submitted “only” three articles and argued at a hearing that using qEEG for diagnosing mild traumatic brain injury had been prohibited by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) for over 20 years. Noteworthy in the court’s opinion was that the AAN guideline relied upon by the defense was “retired” in January 2020 and was no longer the official position of the Academy.
The defendant presented two expert witnesses: Dr. Mary Schriver, a board- certified neurologist with a sub-specialty in neurophysiology, and Dr. Jason Demery, a board-certified neuropsychologist. While Dr. Schriver testified that she did not believe qEEG was a valid test for the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, she did acknowledge that other doctors did use the test for that purpose. During the cross-examination, the plaintiff demonstrated that Dr. Schriver was unfamiliar with the software utilized by Dr. Avery, who was not an expert in interpreting it, and did not examine the raw data generated by the qEEG.
Dr. Demery also admitted that he was not qualified to administer or utilize a qEEG, nor was he an expert in qEEG in general. Dr. Demery disputed some findings in the numerous peer reviewed articles submitted by the plaintiff and raised false positives due to sleep apnea or medication, but did not produce, cite or reference any additional peer reviewed articles to support his position.
Contrasting the defendant’s presentation, the plaintiff submitted numerous peer-reviewed articles comprising over 140 pages, including book chapters and scientific journals supporting the use of qEEG in TBI diagnosis. The peer-review literature produced by the plaintiff denied the error rate argument supported by the defendant and established the wide-spread use of qEEG in diagnosing traumatic brain injury throughout the VA Hospital system. The plaintiff’s experts, Dr. Avery and Dr. Richard Boehme, M.D., testified that they used qEEG in their everyday practices and were familiar with the literature and its use. Due to their clinical experience, the court found the plaintiff’s witnesses to be persuasive.
After the court conducted a Daubert analysis, they found Dr. Avery was qualified, her testimony was based upon sufficient facts and data, and that utilizing qEEG as a tool to help diagnose traumatic brain injury was sufficiently reliable, scientific, and valid. The court also found that Dr. Avery reliably applied the qEEG to the specific case before it.
The court found that the case law presented by the defendant was not controlling as the cases cited were decided before the retirement of the AAN position and most were decided under a Frye standard. Based on the evidence offered at two hearings, the court concluded that qEEG testing related to traumatic brain injury was reliable and scientific when used with other tests or data, rejecting and denying defendant’s motion to strike.
Hard to imagine how anyone who understands what it must've been like to be working at Ground Zero on and after 9/11 could think there weren't going to be physical and mental consequences for the workers and survivors of that tragedy. No one should forget the chaos that followed in terms of people struggling to find survivors and the horror that they all endured in the process. It should not then surprise anyone that 20 years later we are witnessing the mental and emotional devastation that typically appears when people are in their 70s and 80s now is clearly evident in these folks in their 50s. The level of toxicity they were exposed to in a matter of days or weeks, most people never come close to in a lifetime.
Our work with people strugging with memory loss has taught us to look to the lifestyle and levels of exposure to black mold and other neurotoxins as well as being infected with spirochetes from tick bites. We also looked to the trauma that they endured in their lives from sexual and physical abuse, chronic pain and respiratory challenges as well as addiction to substances or disordered eating. The mismanagement of emotional stress challenges our immune system along with every other functional system in our body. How would that not add to the degrading our capacity to maintain a healthy internal biological and psychological ecosystem?
The report now about first responders developing early onset dementia comes as no surprise to me or anyone in my professional circle and it offers cold comfort to see these things coming and know there's very little attention being given let alone resources put toward mitigation of the downside risk and the inevitable disaster facing these brave souls who put their lives on the line for us every day. Grief over the enormity of the loss we suffered and that which was yet to come turned to anger shortly after the towers fell and it was clear that precious little attention being paid to the long term impact of being on the pile. The shocking enormity of the moment constrained most of our thinking to short term problem solving, coping with the next moment and the next. The axiom of those in recovery from addiction became the mantra for the country... 'one day at a time.'
There are tools available to these people to help them deal with their symptoms and possibly reverse their conditions or at least change the slope of decline. We've shown this to be true in our research on the use of self-administered transcranial infrared photobiomodulation (light therapy) and brainwave biofeedback. We are ready to help these heros first by letting them know that there is hope for recovery and the truth that time is the enemy in this situation. The sooner you start treatment the greater the chances are for improvement. Put the resources behind noninvasive technologies that have been proven effective in gold standard clinical trirals, that have no side effects, are easily deployed and would cost a fraction of what has been spent on the 500+ failed pharmaceutical trials in the vain search for a single molecule solution to a systemic disease. Researchers like Tom Lewis PhD (healthrevivalpartners.com) and Dale Bredesen (apollohealthco.com) foundational work has shown us there are alternatives to treating dementia, let's put them to work now for these brave souls who deserve nothing less than our absolute best.
Recent reports out of the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference from researchers at NYU's Grossman School of Medicine showed evidence of a strong correlation between COVID 19 infection and acceleration of Alzheimer's disease pathology onset. They found that the patients admitted to the hospital for COVID 19 with neurologic events were largely (51%) diagnosed with toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME) consisting mainly of septic and hypoxic ischemia. More than 50% of all subjects in the study who were followed for 6 months developed impaired cognitive functioning that diminished their ability to perform activities of daily living. However, the subjects who were followed who had been diagnsoed with COVID 19 were twice as functionally compromised when compared to the control sample.
The study also identified a number of plasma biomarkers associated with neuronal injury and dementia that were elevated in the COVID 19 cohort compared with controls. One measure in particular was Aβ42 which were significantly lower in the plasma which suggests increased levels would be found in the brain. This protein is shown to be elevated in people diagnosed with Alzheimer's and increases in line with disease progression.
It is therefore worth noting that early animal research conducted at Durham University on the use of 1070nm pulsed infrared light stimulation noted marked decreases in Aβ42 found after photobiomodulation treatment. (Grillo,2013). This combined with the recent evidence (Nizmutdinov,etal, 2021) of significant functional improvement in cognitive, behavioral and motor symptoms following 60 days of brief, twice-daily, self-administered 1070nm pulsed PBM therapy, It would not seem very unreasonable then to assume that intensive transcranial 1070nm photobiomodulation therapy could be useful in mitigation of neurological sequelae from COVID 19 infection.
Grillo,SL, Duggett NA, Ennaceur A, Chazot PL. Non-invasive infrared therapy (1072 nm) reduces β-amyloid protein levels in the brain of an Alzheimer's disease mouse model, TASTPM. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2013 Jun 5;123:13-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2013.02.015.
Transcranial Near Infrared Light Stimulations Improve Cognition in Patients with Dementia.
Nizamutdinov, D, Qi, X, Berman,MH, Dougal, G, Dayawansa, S, Wu,X, Yi, S, Stevens, AB, Huang, JH. Aging and Disease, Volume 12, Number 5, June, 2021.
View article from Medscape here: www.medscape.com/viewarticle/955755?
The latest report from British Medical Journal reporters who investigated the FDA accelerated action program are showing that more than 2 in 5 drugs are not meeting the expectations for efficacy and quality. Maybe its time to consider alternative therapeutic models, especially for dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions that don't involve pharmaceuticals and can be self-administered at home by patients and their caregivers. Quietmind is working to engage in a comprehensive trial that will demonstrate the safety, reliability and efficacy of transcranial near infrared light therapy (tPBM) combined with brainwave biofeedback training. We've shown in expanded feasibility trials of tPBM conducted through Baylor Research Institute and Quietmind Foundation and our 15 years of clinical practice these tools are safe and rapidly effective in modifying cognitive and behavioral symptoms of dementia.
We hope to apply for accelerated action approval so that these therapies can be accepted and covered by Medicare and other insurances in the near future. Now, we are making the tPBM units available as wellness oriented interventions to support relaxation and improve over
Click here for article: www.medscape.com/
The latest review of Aducanumab (Aduhelm), the recently FDA approved medication for Alzheimer's, has been determined to have 'Zero Benefit' as determined by the California Technology Assessment Forum in a recent report to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). The stunningly depressing and ironic fact is that the report decries the lack of effective medications for Alzheimer's while not considering supporting treatment alternatives, e.g., transcranial infrared photobiomodulation, that have published clinical efficacy in reversing both cognitive and behavioral symptoms in subjects diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia.
Hopefully more people will recognize that there are options available to influence the slope of decline as well as taking steps to prevent disease onset using what are considered 'alternative' approaches like those advocated by Dale Bredesen and Apollo Health (https://www.apollohealthco.com/). Quietmind Foundation is proud to have been invited to partner with Apollo Health in advocating for the development of noninvasive, non-drug treatment protocols for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Link to the Medscape article: zero benefit to dementia patients while costing $56,000/yr.
The new drug from Biogen carries a very hefty price tag along with a very limited level of efficacy that has now been further limited by recent FDA labeling guidelines. The drug that costs $56,000 a year and is delivered intravenously is designed to flatten the slope of cognitive decline and will not reverse memory loss, behavioral challenges or other functional deficits.
The irony is not lost on us that transcranial infrared photobiomodulation, a treatment for which there is published evidence of reversal of memory, mood and motor symptoms and costing less than $4000, has not been afforded much recognition within the mainstream Alzheimer's treatment community. We are hopeful this will changes as clinicians like Dr. Dale Bredesen recognize and advocate for the use of this technology in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
Quietmind Foundation has been selected to partner with Dr. Bredesen's company Apollo Health to provide consultation and training in the clinical use of photobiomodulation with their practitioners and patients. We are excited by this important opportunity and look forward to working with this community of providers and consumers and hope the word will spread and more people will be able to take advantage of this important neurophysiological health resource.
Alzheimer’s was first identified in 1906. Over a hundred years later, there's still no curative treatment for the disease. What we do have are potential procedures, lifestyle changes, and medications that help slow down its progression. Just recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm. And it’s been met with a lot of mixed reactions from the scientific community. To get FDA approval, drugs must go through two Phase III trials with positive results. Aduhelm skipped both and only presented preliminary results. It’s one of the first few drugs specifically made for Alzheimer’s; bypassing the processes may set a negative precedent for further research and trials. It creates more doubt and disagreements within the scientific community and mistrust among the general public.
There’s no space for dubious processes in Alzheimer’s treatment research, not when there are a number of other roadblocks to overcome.
Lack of Funding
A study conducted by the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center found that Alzheimer’s-related deaths are now nearly on par with cancer deaths, claiming 500,000 lives annually. Despite that, research funding for Alzheimer’s ($550 million) doesn’t even come close to half of the funds dedicated to cancer research ($5.7 billion). In fact, many research teams have had to turn to private funding and seek out donations to continue their studies on non-drug Alzheimer’s treatment. This isn’t to minimize the severity of cancer – it still is a serious and debilitating disease – but considering how Alzheimer’s is just as pervasive, it should also be prioritized.
From a macro perspective, the U.S. ranks low in elderly care among other rich countries. Perhaps since Alzheimer’s is perceived more as a condition of the elderly, it’s not given much importance. The study highlighted how dire the need is for government and systemic support. In response to the worrying figures, Alzheimer’s advocates have called for a sense of urgency from the government. They pointed out that without swift action and effective treatment, Alzheimer’s-related deaths will continue to rise. It’s a condition that’s just as life threatening as cancer and there should be more support in finding cures.
A compounding effect of the lack of funding is the lack of knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease. While there’s a general understanding that Alzheimer’s is linked to the plaque formation of beta-amyloid in the brain, researchers are still debating whether it’s a cause or a symptom of the disease – this is a concern since these plaques are used as biomarkers of Alzheimer's.
What’s more, there’s a disproportionate standard of imaging and non-imaging biomarkers. Doctors generally rely on lab tests, scans, and exams to evaluate the symptoms of the disease. But there’s a need to advance non-imaging biomarkers since the condition is difficult to confirm based on imaging diagnostics alone. There are behavioral and cognitive biomarkers that need to be studied and determined. It's only when these theories are substantiated that effective treatment can be made.
Studies on Alzheimer’s have been dominantly focused within the neuroscientific field. This means that only a select few are regarded as authorities on the subject. However, that’s been challenged in the modern interdisciplinary research environment. Professionals from different disciplines need to have access and opportunity to spur on Alzheimer’s research.
Today, many healthcare and research professionals are pursuing continuing education and exploring specialties in cognitive sciences, particularly through online institutions that allow them to study and maintain their careers. This is evident in online MSN degrees, in particular, which lead nurses to more advanced practice specializations. These degree-holders are taught to take a holistic approach, providing both medical care and assistance in making lifestyle choices as well. This makes them valuable assets to Alzheimer’s research, especially as we begin to see the condition beyond just the medical lens. Moreover, research for Alzheimer’s treatment should run the gamut from a range of biomedical science perspectives – or even those with training in engineering and computational science – to speed the process along. Expertise in neuroscience alone can only take treatment discovery so far.
Treatment Options Focused on Pharmacology
Despite the growing body of published clinical evidence that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias can be treated and in some cases prevented – by lifestyle change, photobiomodulation, neurofeedback training and functional medicine, many healthcare professionals still insist on single molecule pharmacology. This is due, in part, to the skewed credence given to traditional allopathic neurologists who staunchly advocate for medications and invasive therapies. Much like all new views in medicine, new ideas are often initially met with resistance and overcoming resistance takes time to educate physicians and relentless patient advocacy that allow people to make new choices for their loved ones and themselves.
As it is, medical institutions can barely service the demand. Home-based, self-administered, systemically-oriented treatment solutions that are safe, affordable and grounded in rigorous scientific evidence are what is needed. One such solution is the RECODE protocol advanced by Dr. Dale Bredesen. It’s essentially a lifestyle modification method that aims to delay or protect against neurodegeneration. The protocol suggests targeting and improving 36 lifestyle factors that have been shown to contribute to cognitive decline. The protocol advocates for removal of systemic toxins include heavy metals, mold and other environmental pathogens, regular aerobic exercise, and intermittent fasting and a Mediterranean diet. Dr. Bredesen and his colleagues at Apollo Health strongly support the idea that dementia is the result of long term systemic inflammation and that changes of the kind he suggests can enhance cognitive function and reverse decline at any age. Recent dialogue between Quietmind Foundation President Marvin Berman and Dr. Bredesen (Bredesen Facebook Live have shown how closely their ideas and practices are aligned and future combined trials have been mentioned.
Given the support and chance to grow, many non-invasive and non-pharmacological methods could be discovered to treat Alzheimer’s. These could be game-changing for both patients and the healthcare system. These types of treatments would allow Alzheimer’s patients to require less inpatient care, letting them continue treatment at home.
Even if there are a number of roadblocks, there’s still much hope for a safe, effective and affordable Alzheimer’s treatment. Recognizing these challenges is the first step in overcoming these hurdles.
This article was prepared especially for www.quietmindfdn.org by Alice Palmer
Our team regularly publishes articles and blog posts on the latest research and news coming out of our group and the field in general.