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Findings released from a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study involving 19 patients affected by Alzheimer's disease or dementia and conducted using the Vielight 810 Infrared and patent-pending Vielight Neuro wearable devices showed "surprisingly promising outcomes," according to device developer Vielight Inc., Toronto.

The patients used the Neuro device for 20 minutes once or twice a week and the Vielight 810 every day for 25 minutes. The results of the pilot study "strongly suggest" that the treatment for people with moderate-severe cognitive impairment can result in significant clinical improvements, according to the company, which added that people with that level of cognitive impairment are excluded as candidates for pharmaceutical drugs under development or in clinical trials.

The details of the study currently are being written into a peer-reviewed paper for publication. The co-authors include Dr. Margaret Naeser, a research professor of neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Dr. Michael Hamblin, and associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

The technology involved the science of low level light therapy or photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), a process in which exposure to low-level light or light emitting diodes stimulate cellular function leading to beneficial clinical effects.

Prior to the study, research had already presented its potential with dementia and Alzheimer's in its successful effect on animals with the disease. Vielight translated the research into non-invasive wearable devices, which were used in the study.

An abstract was submitted to the Alzheimer's Association and has been accepted for poster presentation at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference later in July in Toronto, Canada.

"Our goal with the feasibility study (aside from examining the effects) was to look at the practical challenges faced by patients and caregivers coming to a clinic for treatment that would help with a formal clinical trial design," principal investigator Anita Saltmarche said. "The outcomes exceeded our expectations,"

Vielight devices are used in research projects in institutions globally, including Harvard Medical School and Boston University. The company has more than 15,000 devices in the field.

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