Introduction: LED Helmet for Dementia, Alzheimers?
Follow this instructable at your own risk. This is not FDA or UL approved. This uses 1,512 red and near-infrared LEDs to shine light into the brain. UK researchers claims this relieves the symptoms of dementia and therefor possibly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The effect of these wavelengths of light are well known so if it works it should not be a surprise: they penetrate up to 1 inch of soft tissue and up to 5 mm of living bone like the skull and then increase the energy production of cells by kick-starting the mitochondria's electron transport chain into utilizing more food-energy from the Krebs cycle to produce more ATP cellular energy. Specifically, the individual photons strike a copper and iron atom in the cytochrome-c-oxidase pump whose genes animals inherited from the light-activated ancestors of today's purple bacteria. In normal healthy cells this can be seen as an immediate increase in breathing rate when you lay in the Sun with a lot of exposed skin. It happens immediately before there is any heat build up in the tissue. Healthy cells probably benefit from it and at least increase your ability to work naked in daylight hours, but it has been proven many times in many experiments that helps speed healing of everything except skin injuries, helping as much as applying ice, but in a different way, by injured (compromised) cells produce the extra energy that they need especially after very recent injuries. Skin injuries already seem to be optimized for healing so it does not help much in those cases, although sugar or honey placed directly on wounds speeds healing as well oxygenation (e.g. hyperbaric chamber) and if these two are used then the next hold-up in the healing rate might be how fast the sugars and oxygen are utilized which might be increased by the light, assuming the necessary nutrients, especially lysine and vitamin C for collagen connecting the cells, are present (the Vitamin C as sodium, calcium, or magnesium ascorbate, not the regular hydrogen ascorbate known as ascorbic acid). Anyway, each of my 12 LED boards have 126 LEDs of the 5 mm "bullet" type, alternating 660 nm red (1.9 V) and 850 nm near-infrared (1.55 V). These are the best wavelengths. I used the largest protoboard from mpja.com for the circuit and bend the LED wires over to form my circuit. The extra length of the LED wires are snipped off and used for the long lines seen in the photo. I do not use series resistors to limit the current in each series of 7 LEDs that are powered by 12 V (normal intensity) to 18 V (super intensity, overdriving my 30 mA LEDs up to 100 mA) and it seems to work out fine, so I advise against the usual series resistor that would take up space, cause more heat, and prevent over-driving of the LEDs. Each board needs 12 to 18 VDC, so 4 boards are in series because the power supply output is 48 to 55 VDC. The "intensity" knob just increases or decreases the voltage. It used a max of 5 Amps at 55 VDC, so it's 250 W, and the area of coverage is exactly 1,000 cm^2 which is 0.1 m^2. If the LEDs are 30% efficient, that's 75 mW/cm^2. A box fan on each side of the head is required when it is this powerful, and it is not possible to make it more powerful because the head will get too hot even with fans after a few minutes. Sunlight strength in the range of the 4 "healing" or "energy producing" wavelengths is 29 mW/cm^2, but maybe only 15 mW/cm^2 at really good wavelengths, and sun only covers one side. So my guesstimate in the video of 3 times the Sun (6 times at the high intensity) seems accurate, but it covers maybe 3 times more surface than the Sun, so at the high intensity this should be about 9 times more than the Sun, without UV problems. If you want to know more about LED light for healing injuries see my website http://heelspurs.com/led.html