Can Light Therapy Help Dementia Patients?


If there’s one thing most people fear, it’s aging. No one wants to get old. And while we do everything we can to keep our physical self in tip-top shape, we often ignore our brain health. And people tend to overlook the signs of dementia, which quickens the mental aging process and affects our overall quality of life. 

You've probably heard of dementia; many older people experience this condition; however, it also affects younger people. Dementia is the umbrella term for memory loss, language, and problem-solving skills that is severe enough to affect one's daily life. Dementia includes conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease. 

Around 55 million people worldwide have dementia, with 60% living in low to middle-income countries. This number is expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050. So what does this mean? 

As more people experience dementia, we need treatment that will reverse or slow down its symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Changes in mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion about time and place
  • Difficulty carrying out routine daily tasks
  • Struggling to find the right words and keep up in conversation

These symptoms depend on the type of dementia the individual is experiencing. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s will have different symptoms than someone with Parkinson’s disease. 

If you’re wondering if there’s an effective treatment for dementia, unfortunately, there is no cure that’s currently known - at least, that’s before the discovery of light therapy’s benefits in dementia patients. 

How does light therapy help dementia?

Scientists from the United Kingdom recently underwent a study using specially designed helmets that emit infrared light to the user. The helmet was tested on middle-aged people with mild cognitive damage and was found to improve memory, motor function, and processing abilities. 

Near infrared light therapy for dementia has profound effects due to its ability to elicit a response in cells and tissues. Near infrared light penetrates the skin, stimulating the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within the mitochondria. ATP is responsible for storing and transferring energy in the cells. When the cells are damaged, ATP levels decrease, impairing the cell’s healing abilities. By increasing ATP production, it helps restore the cells to function optimally.

Through studies such as this one, we’re seeing that such light therapy devices help improve some symptoms of dementia, which is a great start at tackling this disease that affects so many. More importantly, red light therapy proves to be an effective non-invasive option for dementia treatment, and medical experts couldn’t agree more.

Rebecca Edlemayer, Ph.D., senior director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer’s Association, told Medical News Today, “We’re starting to see companies looking at similar, noninvasive methods of stimulating the brain. For example, brain stimulation devices have been applied to other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s to try to prevent degeneration of brain cells.”

While the medical system is just starting to tap into red light therapy's powerful and positive effects, we're one step ahead. Luckily, Kaiyan Medical produces MDSAP-certified and FDA-approved light therapy products and devices for your own at-home treatment or even for your patients. 

We've worked hard to provide solutions for both patients and healthcare practitioners, catering to various needs. Whether you're looking to private label your own light therapy devices or for home use, contact our team, as we would love to help you through your light therapy journey.