A helmet to help people with Alzheimer’s

London, Jan 25 (IANS) A helmet created in Britain may reverse symptoms such as memory loss and anxiety in people with Alzheimer’s, its inventors said.

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that impairs memory. More than 24 million people worldwide are currently thought to have this disease and by 2040, an estimated 81 million people worldwide are expected to develop the disease.

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The strange-looking experimental headgear developed by Gordon Dougal, a director of Virulite, a medical research company in County Durham, has to be worn for ten minutes every day.

The prototype cognitive helmet emits infrared light that bathes the brain and stimulates the growth of brain cells. The scientist believes it could reverse symptoms such as memory loss and anxiety within four weeks, the online edition of Daily Mail reported.

Scientists led by Abdel Ennaceur at the University of Sunderland exposed a middle-aged mouse for six minutes a day for 10 days to infrared light and found it reversed memory loss.

In the human trials, due to start this summer, the scientists will use levels of infrared light that occur naturally in sunlight.

People age because the cells lose the desire to regenerate and repair themselves. This ultimately results in cell death and decline of organ functions – for the brain resulting in memory decay and deterioration in general intellectual performance.

Low-level infrared is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue and encourage their repair. It penetrates the skin and even gets through the skull.

“The implications of this research are enormous,” Ennaceur said.