Multiple sclerosis (MS), blindness and life-threatening infections are all being successfully treated with a new light therapy. Phototherapy, which uses near-infrared (NIR) and blue light, could one day be used to fight a range of degenerative diseases, including cancer, say researchers who are pioneering the therapy.
Thus far, the therapy has been tested out only on laboratory animals, but the results are so promising that it will be tested out on humans soon, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The problem has been in getting the right wavelength at the right intensity and for the right period, but when it all comes together, the results are remarkable. In the latest study, the researchers have successfully treated early-stage symptoms of MS in rodents.
The success follows earlier studies where blindness has been reversed, and blue light has been used as a successful antibiotic against infections, even the life-threatening MRSA bug. Ageing and degenerative diseases such as cancer could all be helped by phototherapy, the researchers believe.
But right now medical regulators such as the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are sceptical, and classify phototherapy as an ‘alternative therapy’. To change that, the researchers are hoping to mount a major human study.
Provided by: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee