• Morning exposure to deep red light impro

    From ScienceDaily@1337:3/111 to All on Wed Nov 24 21:30:34 2021
    Morning exposure to deep red light improves declining eyesight

    November 24, 2021
    University College London
    Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week,
    when delivered in the morning, can significantly improve declining
    eyesight, finds a pioneering new study.

    FULL STORY ==========================================================================
    Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week, when
    delivered in the morning, can significantly improve declining eyesight,
    finds a pioneering new study by UCL researchers.

    ========================================================================== Published in Scientific Reports, the study builds on the team's previous
    work*, which showed daily three-minute exposure to longwave deep red light 'switched on' energy producing mitochondria cells in the human retina,
    helping boost naturally declining vision.

    For this latest study, scientists wanted to establish what effect a
    single three-minute exposure would have, while also using much lower
    energy levels than their previous studies. Furthermore, building
    on separate UCL research in flies** that found mitochondria display
    'shifting workloads' depending on the time of day, the team compared
    morning exposure to afternoon exposure.

    In summary, researchers found there was, on average, a 17% improvement
    in participants' colour contrast vision when exposed to three minutes
    of 670 nanometre (long wavelength) deep red light in the morning and the effects of this single exposure lasted for at least a week. However, when
    the same test was conducted in the afternoon, no improvement was seen.

    Scientists say the benefits of deep red light, highlighted by the
    findings, mark a breakthrough for eye health and should lead to affordable home-based eye therapies, helping the millions of people globally with naturally declining vision.

    Lead author, Professor Glen Jeffery (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology),
    said: "We demonstrate that one single exposure to long wave deep red
    light in the morning can significantly improve declining vision, which is
    a major health and wellbeing issue, affecting millions of people globally.

    ========================================================================== "This simple intervention applied at the population level would
    significantly impact on quality of life as people age and would likely
    result in reduced social costs that arise from problems associated with
    reduced vision." Naturally declining vision and mitochondria In humans
    around 40 years old, cells in the eye's retina begin to age, and the
    pace of this ageing is caused, in part, when the cell's mitochondria,
    whose role is to produce energy (known as ATP) and boost cell function,
    also start to decline.

    Mitochondrial density is greatest in the retina's photoreceptor cells,
    which have high energy demands. As a result, the retina ages faster than
    other organs, with a 70% ATP reduction over life, causing a significant
    decline in photoreceptor function as they lack the energy to perform
    their normal role.

    In studying the effects of deep red light in humans, researchers built
    on their previous findings in mice, bumblebees and fruit flies, which
    all found significant improvements in the function of the retina's photoreceptors when their eyes were exposed to 670 nanometre (long
    wavelength) deep red light.

    ========================================================================== "Mitochondria have specific sensitivities to long wavelength light
    influencing their performance: longer wavelengths spanning 650 to 900nm
    improve mitochondrial performance to increase energy production," said Professor Jeffery.

    Morning and afternoon studies The retina's photoreceptor population is
    formed of cones, which mediate colour vision, and rods, which adapt
    vision in low/dim light. This study focused on cones*** and observed
    colour contrast sensitivity, along the protan axis (measuring red-green contrast) and the tritan axis (blue-yellow).

    All the participants were aged between 34 and 70, had no ocular disease, completed a questionnaire regarding eye health prior to testing, and
    had normal colour vision (cone function). This was assessed using a
    'Chroma Test': identifying coloured letters that had very low contrast
    and appeared increasingly blurred, a process called colour contrast.

    Using a provided LED device all 20 participants (13 female and 7 male)
    were exposed to three minutes of 670nm deep red light in the morning
    between 8am and 9am. Their colour vision was then tested again three
    hours post exposure and 10 of the participants were also tested one week
    post exposure.

    On average there was a 'significant' 17% improvement in colour vision,
    which lasted a week in tested participants; in some older participants
    there was a 20% improvement, also lasting a week.

    A few months on from the first test (ensuring any positive effects of
    the deep red light had been 'washed out') six (three female, three male)
    of the 20 participants, carried out the same test in the afternoon,
    between 12pm to 1pm.

    When participants then had their colour vision tested again, it showed
    zero improvement.

    Professor Jeffery said: "Using a simple LED device once a week, recharges
    the energy system that has declined in the retina cells, rather like re-charging a battery.

    "And morning exposure is absolutely key to achieving improvements in
    declining vision: as we have previously seen in flies, mitochondria have shifting work patterns and do not respond in the same way to light in
    the afternoon -- this study confirms this." For this study the light
    energy emitted by the LED torch was just 8mW/cm2, rather than 40mW/cm2,
    which they had previously used. This has the effect of dimming the
    light but does not affect the wavelength. While both energy levels are perfectly safe for the human eye, reducing the energy further is an
    additional benefit.

    Home-based affordable eye therapies With a paucity of affordable deep
    red-light eye-therapies available, Professor Jeffery has been working
    for no commercial gain with Planet Lighting UK, a small company in
    Wales and others, with the aim of producing 670nm infra-red eye ware at
    an affordable cost, in contrast to some other LED devices designed to
    improve vision available in the US for over $20,000.

    "The technology is simple and very safe; the energy delivered by 670nm
    long wave light is not that much greater than that found in natural environmental light," Professor Jeffery said.

    "Given its simplicity, I am confident an easy-to-use device can be made available at an affordable cost to the general public.

    "In the near future, a once a week three-minute exposure to deep red
    light could be done while making a coffee, or on the commute listening to
    a podcast, and such a simple addition could transform eye care and vision around the world." Study limitations Despite the clarity of the results, researchers say some of the data are "noisy." While positive effects
    are clear for individuals following 670nm exposure, the magnitude of improvements can vary markedly between those of similar ages. Therefore,
    some caution is needed in interpretating the data. It is possible that
    there are other variables between individuals that influence the degree
    of improvement that the researchers have not identified so far and would require a larger sample size.

    This research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences
    Research Council, and Sight Research UK.

    To help meet the costs of this research and future research, Professor
    Glen Jeffery's Lab at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology receives
    donations via UCL's Give Now platform.

    *Declining eyesight improved by looking at deep red light & Journals
    of Gerontology ** 'A day in the life of mitochondria reveals shifting workloads' in Scientific Reports ***Only cones not rods were tested in
    this study; similar previous research identified a comparable effect
    on cones and rods, satisfying the team any effect on cones could be
    translated to rods.

    ========================================================================== Story Source: Materials provided by University_College_London. Note:
    Content may be edited for style and length.

    ========================================================================== Journal Reference:
    1. Harpreet Shinhmar, Chris Hogg, Magella Neveu, Glen Jeffery. Weeklong
    improved colour contrasts sensitivity after single 670 nm exposures
    associated with enhanced mitochondrial function. Scientific Reports,
    2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-02311-1 ==========================================================================

    Link to news story: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211124154118.htm

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