Red light and green tea may sound like a rather strange brew, but scientists has revealed that they may provide an answer to the treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
There is evidence in animal models that green tea extract is beneficial to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The beta-amyloid contents in Alzheimer’s brain cells can be reduced by up to 60% when incubated in a buffer containing green tea extract – epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
However because of the brain-blood-barrier between the blood stream and the brain cells, it can be difficult getting drugs into the brain. Red light with a wave length of 670nm, which can penetrate tissue and bone, has the ability to increase the permeability of the barrier. Recent studies by a German group led by Andrei Sommer at the University of Ulm have shown that using the pulses of red light to stimulate the brain of experiment animals while administrating EGCG orally at the same time can increase the intake of this drug. Results have shown 10% of beta-amyloid reduction in the oral administration only group whereas up to 50% in the plus red light group.
Sommer believes this technology can also be used to deliver other drugs through the barrier to treat other brain diseases besides Alzheimer’s such as brain tumor and stroke.