July 7, 2021
Facebook Live: Brain Stimulation – How and Why it Works so Well.
Apollo Health’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Dale Bredesen and Chief Health Liaison Julie Gregory were joined by Dr. Marvin Berman founder and president of the QuietMIND Foundation, a public, non-profit research foundation and an outpatient healthcare practice that provides therapy and research into photobiomodulation and neurofeedback to support cognition. They discussed photobiomodulation (brain stimulation) and its potential integration with the ReCODE protocol. This therapy involves the use of a helmet-shaped device that provides light and energy to improve mitochondrial functionality at the cellular level for those suffering from depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, PTSD, Parkinson’s, and other neurological disorders. This process promotes the production of cytochrome C and the production of ATP, which are both beneficial to brain health.
We’ve included a complete recording of the session and a full transcript below for your convenience.
Dr. Bredesen: All right, hello everybody. And welcome to the Facebook live. I’m here with Dr. Marvin Berman. Welcome Dr. Berman.
Dr. Berman: Nice to be here.
Dr. Bredesen: And I’m also here with Julie G. And I hope everyone is staying safe as the pandemic is easing. One of the things that’s been very exciting is looking at the effects of various parts of the protocol. And one of the things that comes up frequently is that some form of stimulation, and, Julie, you and I have talked about this many times. One of the things that’s come out of the thousands of people that have been on the protocol is that people who are doing the best do tend to use some form of stimulation. And there are all sorts of different things. We’ve talked about this and, Julie, you mentioned this in the second book as well, light stimulation, magnetic stimulation, of course, brain training stimulation, direct current stimulation. There’s now some interesting work on specific frequencies of sound. Some very interesting work out of MIT, of course, with 40 hertz stimulation with light and sound. So there all sorts of things and there are ways to change the part of the spectrum, the frequency that’s used, the frequency of re-stimulation, different ways to address it. Some people are really believe that laser stimulation is the best way to go. So we have a real expert today with Dr. Berman. Thank you so much for joining us and tell us a little bit about your history and how you got interested in this very exciting area.
Dr. Berman: Thank you, Dale. It’s great to be here and I’m very glad to be helping to integrate the ReCODE functional medicine with photobiomodulation and neurofeedback as a combination of treatments that I think will be significantly beneficial for people. Our work was primarily in the area of biofeedback and neurofeedback at the beginning back in 1997. And we were looking at neurology zone data about dementia and seeing that there were many studies showing that the amplitude of slow wave brainwaves was increasing and the amplitude of fast wave brainwaves were decreasing in people as they progressed in dementia. And there were many, many papers about this. But when I was looking for the next step of, well, so how did you apply that in terms of treatment, there was nothing. And that’s when I realized that neurology didn’t have a mechanism by which to take that data and turn it into some kind of clinical application and that’s when I started looking at biofeedback and what they call neurofeedback. There was a very clear literature about how people were using brainwave training to affect the frequency of seizures and epilepsy and other kinds of seizure disorders. So it became clear that the silos of knowledge we’re not talking to each other.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: And so we did a study where we took the principle of biofeedback, where you’re taking a specific measurement in physiology and then you’re rewarding the person for being able to modify and develop this skill of modifying that pattern of behavior. So we did that with the EEG amplitude of the slow and the fast waves. And we showed that the people who were able to develop that capability did in fact improve on their memory scores and their motor behavior and emotional behavior and other activities of daily living, but the disease process was continuing. So what we had accomplished with neurofeedback was a modification of the slope of decline. So if people were declining like that, now there was an elevation and they were doing better in terms of elongating the time that they had to be functioning well, but they were still declining.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: Then we saw in 2008, some literature in the Journal of Neuroscience in the U.K. talking about an animal study where they exposed groups of animals to specific frequency of infrared light and they did a placebo controlled trial and they did a memory study with the mice. And what they showed was that the middle-aged mice that had been developing amyloid plaque in their brain for about nine months, those animals that got the stimulation in their cage. Very much like the MIT study, but this was 2008. They performed better than normal adolescent mice after they got treatment.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: So that got me thinking, “Wait a minute, the infrared light may be the tissue level intervention while the neurofeedback was the intervention that was going to address the disrupted connectivity that was caused by the degraded functional capabilities of the tissue.” So that became the one one-two step for how we might be able to apply this so that we have the neurofeedback coming along with and ongoing with the photobiomodulation. That’s been the focus. The other part became clear when we started looking at … Because we’re in Philadelphia the level of Lyme disease and other kinds of tick-borne infections. This is the worst line vector in the United States. So when we started to see what’s happening with people with these internal pathogens and the gut microbiome disruption, it became clear that some kind of functional medicine component was needed in order to make sure that you’re dealing with the toxicity. Then you can help rebuild the tissue and the energy capacity and then you can deal with the neuroconnectivity by re-normalizing the brain connectivity with the neurofeedback.
Dr. Bredesen: Great point. So let’s talk for a minute about mechanisms and then let’s get into the practical use and, you know, what’s best and how you get this set up and all this sort of stuff. So one of the obvious questions that’s come up in photobiomodulation research is what are you actually modulating? What are you telling the brain when you actually do this? And of course, one of the suggestions has been that you actually are triggering… Essentially you’re adding energy and certainly energetics one of the big problems with our cognitive decline. And we talk about this all the time between, you know, vascular and oxygenation and ketosis and mitochondrial function. So one of the arguments is that photobiomodulation, you’re actually getting an impact on a redox sensitive center, cytochrome C. So you’re essentially adding energy to the brain through photons instead of through metabolism, which is an interesting concept. Is that your sense, or you think that there are many elements? Or what do you think is going on here to give people this improvement?
Dr. Beran: Well, I certainly agree with what you said. And I think, you know, you put it quite well in terms of getting the photons into the mitochondria and stimulating the cytochrome C to help increase the production of ATP. That said, there is also considerable evidence now about how the light can stimulate the flexibility of the endothelial tissue in the vascular system. So for those people who are getting older and there’s vascular dysfunction, one of the things that we see is that there’s a lack of perfusion and that’s one of the bottom lines is a lack of perfusion. Well, it would seem reasonable then that if you can increase the tensile flexibility of the blood vessels, you’re gonna be able to get more blood through to the furthest reaches of the cortex and that’s what we see. Our original studies were done with near-infrared spectroscopy on the forehead. So we did measures before and after the treatment. We saw over, about a month that what we were able to see was that the net expansion and contraction, that the actual range of perfusion and extraction was significantly increasing. So that idea of increasing flexibility goes a long way and, you know, you can relate to that on many levels in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish. So I think that increasing perfusion and thereby decreasing inflammation needs to go along with the redox and the ROS effects of the photobiomodulation.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, it’s very interesting because, you know, we’ve come at this chemically and looking at things like metabolism and metabolic flexibility. So here is a physical way to get at a different part of the flexibility. And we often think of using, you know, we want the nitric oxide to be there to get the appropriate dilation of the vessels, but anything that can, you know, as we’ve talked about, anything that can improve that ability to deliver and produce energy, this is often a rate limiting step in people with cognitive decline. So this makes a lot of sense., very, very interesting. And when you did this, how long does this sustain when you’re able to achieve this effect?
Dr. Berman: Well, yeah, that’s one of the other pieces about why the neurofeedback. And I think that what we’re talking about there is… I guess my quick answer is you need to be thinking about this as a vitamin and not an antibiotic.
Dr. Bredesen: Right, right, got it, that makes sense.
Dr. Berman: So because none of us, almost none of us get enough sunshine, real sunshine and most of us don’t know how to breathe properly, so we don’t get the right O2 to CO2 ratio. So all of those things going together, we really need to think about how are we going balance the O2, CO2. How are we going balance getting the stimulation into the system? And I think that combining the neurofeedback as a way to build the central nervous systems flexibility and adaptiveness, we’re actually talking about efficiency. And the more efficiently the central nervous system can function, the more it’s going be able to make better use of the resources that it has.
Dr. Bredesen: Right, that makes sense. Obviously, there are lots of ways from this idea that, you know, there’s something about stimulation that’s crucial, there’s something about light that’s crucial. Obviously there are lots of ways you can go, in different colors, different parts of the spectrum, infrared, ultraviolet, all this sort of stuff. There’s also different frequencies you can deliver it at. And again, a lot of work on the ultraviolet suggesting that 40 hertz, you know, 40 cycles per second may be a good way to go. So over the years, what has your work suggested in terms of … First of all, where on the spectrum do you want to be? And then second of all, what sort of frequency do you want to deliver? And maybe it’d be great to show some of the equipment that you use.
Dr. Berman: Yeah, I think that’s good. We’re at that show and tell stage.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, good, thank you.
Dr. Berman: So this is the device that we started using and what we used for the study that we did with our study partners at Baylor Research Institute in Temple, Texas. And the principal investigator there was Dr. Jason Wang, and he’s the chairman of neurosurgery at Baylor Scott and White. And he and I were the co-investigators on this multi-site study. This is a device that was developed in the U.K. and we’ve been working with this for about 15 years. And it’s a 1,070 nanometers and the reason for that choice was that when you look at the penetration in the pure water molecule, 800 is right up there at the top and then it drops off really significantly, but then it comes back up almost to the same height as the 800 at 1060 to 1080. Well, the question that Dr. Dugel, the inventor of this, he really wanted to look at what’s the difference between those two optical windows, biologically. And it turns out that there is significant differences. And Professor Paul Chazot at Durham University who is our study partner and my colleague, we’ve been working on this for some years. And I would certainly recommend Professor Chazot’s work on the bench science related to 1070, because I think it’s going to have really significant implications now in relationship to COVID.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: So that’s a whole other conversation, but it’s certainly relevant to what we’re talking about in terms of loss of energy in the system, by virtue of inflammation and toxicity. This device has 900 LEDs in it. And the fans exhaust any of the increased heat that comes from those LEDs and this device was pulsing at 40 hertz.
Dr. Bredesen: Got it, okay.
Dr. Berman: I’m sorry. This device was pulsing a 10 hertz and we projected that we would get good results from the 10 hertz pulse rate. However, we saw what Margaret Singh was doing at MIT and we saw that what Dr. Lim and the people at Vielight … I had ninth grade French so I say Vielight. But the people at Vielight started at 10 hertz and then added 40 hertz to their model. We started working and recommending and using Vielight initially because it was the only product on the market that came even close to this.
Dr. Bredesen: Got it.
Dr. Berman: And we figured out ways to manipulate the Vielight in order to mimic the Cognito light. Well, where we are now is that we developed a new device that we’re working with partners in China and also in Ireland, in Germany, in a company called Neuronic Medical Devices Limited and they’re in Ireland and Germany. And they’re going to be marketing this device, which has 256 LEDs. But it has the capability of being modified in terms of the pulse rate using a touch key pack.
Dr. Bredesen: Okay.
Dr. Berman: Which of course, I just pulled the plug out off. Give me a second.
Dr. Bredesen: Okay, so maybe while you’re doing that just to comment would be that, you know, when you’re talking about, yeah, you’re talking about, you know, you’re talking about over 1000 nanometers. So, you know, a human eye can see anywhere from about 380, 390 up to 690 or 700. So that goes from a violet to red. So anything past 700 is clearly infrared. So you’re really showing.. You know, this is not something your eye could see. This is an infrared sort of stimulation that you’re using. Okay, so you got that.
Dr. Berman: And the infrared … And just, you know, to follow on that the infrared range of light confers about 85% of the reason why there’s life on earth.
Dr. Bredesen: Interesting.
Dr. Berman: So this is a keypad that we can use to modify the pulse rate, which is the turning on and off. We can control that in single integers from one to 20,000 hertz. We can also modify the strength or the power in four segments, so that we can control the density of the power that’s being delivered by the LEDs. And that gives us a great deal more control than we had with the Cognito light. The other thing is that we’re gonna be able to have control over the quadrants in the helmet so that we can deal with the left and right hemisphere disparities and functioning. And we can then start to stimulate bilateral hemispheric integration, which has to do with the EEG biofeedback concept of coherence, or the correlation coefficient between different regions in the brain. We’ve seen very clearly that the photobiomodulation helps to reduce and improve the functioning at the level of power or voltage, but it doesn’t do enough, and we saw this in the study in Texas and Philadelphia. It doesn’t really influence the coherence, the connectivity, nearly as well as it does the power. So that’s why it becomes clear again that the neurofeedback training in conjunction with the photobiomodulation can be a much more powerful and much more effective intervention, especially when you’ve got a system that doesn’t have a toxic load of aluminum.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, it’s a really good point. I mean, this is a little bit like if you take a car that’s broken down and you try to drive at 100 miles an hour, that’s not a good thing. On the other hand, you know, getting it to working well, getting rid of all the problems, fixing it well and then now bringing it out and taking it out for a run makes a lot more sense. So clearly you wanna do this all together to get the system working. But it’s very interesting that stimulation is such an effective way to support that. So let’s talk for a minute about the different frequencies. So you mentioned the 10, you mentioned the 40, and let’s talk for a minute a little bit about … Okay, someone says, “Okay, I want to get this. I’m having some mild cognitive decline and I would really like to improve. I’d like to enhance my cognition. So in addition to optimizing my toxins and my minimizing inflammation and that sort of thing and gut health, I’d like to get some stimulation.” How do people get started doing that?
Dr. Berman: Well, one of the things that we’ve been doing because we started in biofeedback is that we start using a cap with electrodes on it so that we can measure the electrical activity in the brain and then compare it against a normative database by age, gender and handedness. And we can then see specifically where that person’s energetic deficits or functional deficits relate to specific patterns of disequilibrium, or dysfunction in their brain electrical capacity. We can then suggest, “Oh, you might need more like 14 or 18 or 36 or 65.” I mean, it would depend on what we see in the brain mapping.
Dr. Bredesen: Okay.
Dr. Berman: How we then go about answering that question of what frequencies. And we would monitor people ongoing so that as that changed, we would then be able to modulate the frequency, the pulse rate accordingly.
Dr. Bredesen: And are you looking at dominant alpha frequency or theta beta, or what sorts of things are you looking at here?
Dr. Berman: Well, because we’ve got 19 channels to work with, we look at all 19 channels and how that relates to Loretta analysis and the actual regions of interest in the Brodmann areas. So we can actually see where the actual dysfunction, dysregulation is in the Brodmann areas and we can train the Brodmann areas.
Dr. Bredesen: I see.
Dr. Berman: Which are those areas in the brain that have been mapped out by function.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: And so we use the symptoms to drive the neurofeedback.
Dr. Bredesen: Okay, let’s take a minute here. Let me just switch over to Julie for one minute. Julie, can you tell me a little bit about people who are on (it). How many of them are talking about photobiomodulation and how many are including that in their overall approach?
Julie Gregory: You know, quite a few people are talking about it and using it for different reasons. Some people are using it to treat injuries. Some people are doing it for cognition. And I’m not seeing anybody saying it’s making a dramatic difference by itself, but it seems to be that as you apply it with different strategies in the protocol, people are seeing some benefits. Dr. Berman, is that what you’re seeing? Like, if people, you know, apply other strategies from the Bredesen protocol, other functional medicine strategies, are you seeing them get better results?
Dr. Berman: Yeah, because you’re building the body’s capacity to manage toxicity.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: You’re increasing the functional capacity of the body to heal by giving more energy to those areas that need more ATP in order to correct what is out of range, whatever the problem is. So, yeah, it’s very important. And I think that because people notice more rapid improvement, right, or change from photobiomodulation, then some of the struggle that people have about maintaining themselves on the protocol can be ameliorated because they’re feeling better from the photobiomodulation and the neurofeedback, it’s gonna be psychologically encouraging.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah.
Julie: I’m very interested in learning –
Dr. Berman: This is grounded in reality, it’s not just psychobabble it’s real reality.
Julie Gregory: Are there any negative side effects, or any people for whom this isn’t appropriate?
Dr. Berman: Well, if you have metal in your head, right? Then you have to be careful about where you’re directing the energy, because the photons will collect around the metal and heat up the metal. So that’s not useful.
Dr. Bredesen: So an aneurysm clip or something like that?
Dr. Berman: You know, anything that’s going to absorb the photons and build heat then no. But you can certainly use it in other parts of the body. And there are many, many different types of light therapy for different parts of the body. But transcranial stimulation I have yet to see somebody have any kind of significant negative effect. There were zero adverse events in the clinical trials. There have been zero adverse events reported in any of the studies that we’ve done. And I haven’t found one reported in any of the other transcranial light therapy studies. So worrying about LED stimulation, which might be different than laser, but worrying about it from use of LEDs is not something to concern yourself with.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, so let’s talk about changing the way people practice and think about practice. Because with any of these new things, just as you said, you know, it’s not psychobabble, it’s something new, it’s something that actually is working. And so you really have to prove it anecdotally, and then you have to prove it in a trial. And I should say, you know, I got off the phone a few minutes ago, got off another Zoom with some person who had a patient with early Lewy body, very typical toxicity. The genetic predisposition to collecting toxins unfortunately, I believe for a positive, early Lewy body went to a, you know, very addressable, with the very clear things that are driving this went to a center of excellence for cognitive decline and was told, “You have MCI. There’s nothing that can be done. You should go to a support group.” So changing the way people think to understand that, yes, there are things out there is so critical. So could you give us an anecdote and then tell us a little bit about where things stand with your trial if you would.
Dr. Berman: Sure, the local doctors that were skeptical, who were functional medicine doctors, who I had been in touch with, you know, they had a show me kind of attitude and that was fine. And the chairman of psychiatry long ago at Temple, where I went to school, he got interviewed as part of an article they did about me and the neurofeedback for ADHD. And he was an international expert on ADHD. And he said, “Well, I haven’t really seen much research.” So I wrote to him and said, you know, “How many inches of research would you like me to send you?”
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah.
Dr. Berman: And he said, “Send me what you’ve got because I’m headed to Australia to do a lecture, so I’ve got 18 hours to read.” So I overnighted him that much, that much. And he came back and said, “By the time I got to Sydney, I had altered my slides.”
Dr. Bredesen: Interesting.
Julie Gregory: Wow.
Dr. Berman: So,I took him very seriously. And he was one of the guys who’s been very supportive. But then Dr. Whitney and Dr. Leonti who were both functional medicine docs here at the Princeton Integrative Health, they are now taking it very seriously and are looking at how to incorporate it into their practice because they came to Elkins Park, I showed them this stuff, I showed them the data. They understood that we were publishing in, you know, peer-reviewed journals and here’s the evidence and they were the kind of guys who said, “Okay, well, let’s see how we can integrate this into a practice.”
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, and let’s go back to the practical aspects for a minute then.
Dr. Berman: Sure.
Dr. Bredesen: How often do you recommend? How long with each session do you recommend?
Dr. Berman: Okay.
Dr. Bredesen: You said it was more like a vitamin. It sounds like you would want them to keep going for long periods of time.
Dr. Berman: This is something you probably want to do forever.
Dr. Bredesen: Okay.
Dr. Berman: And that’s why we tend to say, “We’re trying to work on decreasing the price as well as making it available to everyone to do at home.” We showed that the biofeedback if you train somebody’s caregiver how to do it, they can do it in their living room. They don’t need to come and see me who’s been doing it for 30 years. That’s not real, that’s not necessary. You can do it at home. Same here, we can set up the protocols by doing the brain mapping and then we can just send you home with the protocol and you can touch in what you need to do, and you’ll do it every day. And I would want to encourage people to pay serious attention to the idea that more is not better. And that a lot of people get into, “Oh, I’m going sit in the infrared sauna for two hours and that’s going be …” No, that’s not how that works. And I’m going to put the helmet on my head, “Why do it for six minutes? Let me do it for 35.” No, that’s not how it works. You can actually shut down your brain’s ability to make use of the light therapy by going past whatever the optimum window is for you.
Dr. Bredesen: Yes.
Dr. Berman: And everybody really has their own salients for this kind of stimulation. And that’s why I think we needed to consult with people as they use this technology, so that they get the best use out of it and don’t think it’s a waste of time.
Dr. Bredesen: Very interesting, yeah, okay. You mentioned an ongoing trial with the group in Texas and where do things stand on the ongoing trial?
Dr. Berman: Well, it’s a great relief to have gotten the 100 subjects into the can as it were. And now we’re in the unpacking of what it is we got. And we did before, during and after two months of treatment with the Cognito light, we did a quantitative EEG and a full neuropsych battery as well as a battery of ADL kind of daily living questionnaires. So we’re now working on integrating and looking at all of that data. The first publication was about the Texas cohort of about 70 people. They finished before I did, and now my group is complete. So now we’re working on putting the whole 100 subjects together. And now I’m working on breaking down the quantitative EEG data. But it’s been very interesting to see, you know, which are the people who did well and which are the people who didn’t do well and what does that look like in terms of their brain functional capacity?
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, and were these people with MCI or dementia or SCI or –
Dr. Berman: This are people, yeah. This would be early to mid-stage. So, we’re talking about a mini mental status score of between 15 and 24.
Dr. Bredesen: Got it, okay.
Dr. Berman: And with no lesions, no axis one psychiatric disorders, nothing like that but other than that… And some of the people because of the cohort access in Texas, a number of the people were also duly diagnosed with a movement disorder. What a number of the caregivers said was that even after the first couple of weeks, the facial masking and the Bradykinesia and the apathy significantly decreased in the people with Parkinson’s.
Dr. Bredesen: Interesting, okay. And I should point out, you know, that when you have a mini-mental status of 15 to 24, I mean, this is something that’s been … You know, you’ve had the underlying biochemistry for typically 15, 20 years. So, these this is something that’s been going on. So even though we talk about this as early to mid-stage, this is a very late stage of the underlying biochemical process that’s been going on for quite some time.
Dr. Berman: Right, we’re very interested in seeing how do we deal with early intervention? Which is what we were hoping for in prevention, which is what we were ultimately going for to begin with, but you can’t really talk to people about prevention until you can demonstrate treatment.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah.
Dr. Berman: So now, now, you’ve actually, now we’ve actually demonstrated treatment effects with the technology. And we know from the work that you’ve done and the work that people at Harvard Jack Tremp did on OCT analysis of amyloid load in the retina. So, we can now predict long before symptom onset that somebody is headed in the wrong direction.
Dr. Bredesen: Right, okay. Well, there’s some excellent questions here. So, let’s go through some of these questions if that’s okay. Marge is saying you recommend a certain neurofeedback, neuro optimal or clear mind or others? Obviously, you’re involved with developing this. So, what you’re doing for a reason, the sorts of features you look for?
Dr. Berman: Well, the device, the technologies that the listener, the person’s asking about are … They’re useful in some ways and they are not as specifically targetable as others. So, I tend to recommend the neurofeedback technology that suits the person’s time, energy and resources and their functional capacity. So those technologies could be something I’d recommend more often than not my ultimate recommendation whenever possible is to use 19 channel SW Loretta train.
Dr. Bredesen: Okay, and one of the things that come up for was the cost. You mentioned, you’re trying to get the cost down. I think we’re all interested in the same thing. How can we make it so that everybody can access these various things that are helpful? And tell us if you would, what is the current cost for someone to do that this?
Dr. Berman: This tech, this device using the 810-nanometer wavelength is in pounds, it’s a 2000 pounds. So, it’s about $2,200. And the 1070 nanometer is about a thousand dollars more. So, it’s about 4,000 us dollars for the, for the 1070 unit. And about two, about 3000, 2000 for the 810 unit. Neurofeedback, we’ve produced a device that can do home training. That’s a four-channel neurofeedback training system that we can set it up and do it all remotely. You can have it in your house. You put a couple of your caps on and a couple of things on your head, and then basically you do it at home.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, well, it’d be very interesting to see when you have all the data together, because that right now, the current standard of care is with the new Aduhelm being approved. Then you can expect to pay well over $56,000 every year for the rest of your life to get at best, a modest slowing of 22%. So, if your data show that you can do much better than that for much less, I think you’re in great shape there.
Dr. Berman: Well, yeah, I mean, our data said that we can increase. I mean, the active over placebo change in many mental statuses was an average of 4.8 points. The improvement in the clock drawing test was about 75%. And that’s in two months.
Dr. Bredesen: And you mentioned over placebo, how about over start of the trial? In other words, these are people who are actually getting better, I take it. Yeah, so again, this is something that doesn’t happen with the new drug. You don’t get better; you just go down more slowly. That’s the idea. So, it sounds like the efficiency per dollar is much, much better.
Dr. Berman: Just a little.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, just a little. Okay, so Sam is asking the Cognitolite study had great results by itself. And in that study did not include biofeedback. Is that correct?
Dr. Berman: That’s correct.
Dr. Bredesen: Back in light therapy, you think you get more benefits? It sounds like.
Dr. Berman: I definitely think you get more benefit. Like I said before, the integration of the photobiomodulation with the neurofeedback, I think is going to stabilize and solidify the gains that are made from increasing capacity, because now you’ve re normalized the disrupted connectivity between the different regions of the brain. So, you’re going to be ahead of the game that way and maintain it over time.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, good point. And then the next one here is from Tim of comments, the metal of known aluminum issues comes to my mind. So yeah, there’s fundamental difference of course, between a metal, a piece of metal in your head, such as an annual clip, in which case, please talk to your neurosurgeon before doing anything, simply having an increased level of overall aluminum in your blood or in your tissue. So that’s obviously we’ve all got these various metals in our tissues that doesn’t stop you from having Cognito light, of course.
Dr. Berman: That’s true. And the other thing I think is important to that point is that when you use the intra-nasal, which is what the Vielight people have been using, you know. So, when they use the intra-nasal stimulation, what they get is a very strong stimulation of the free floating mitochondria in the blood.
Dr. Bredesen: Interesting, you know.
Dr. Berman: And because all of the, you know, you know, all of the light going up your nose is going to stimulate all your entire body’s blood supply in four minutes, because your whole body’s blood supply passes through here every four minutes. So, if you do this for, you know, 15 or 20 minutes, you’re going significantly improve the mitochondrial activity and the ATP in your blood, which is then going get to every part of your body.
Dr. Bredesen: Very interesting, okay. And then the next one here is from Sam, who says, I heard that Dr. Berman has been using the Cognitolite himself for 15 years with no ill effects, question mark.
Dr. Berman: Well, we’d have to talk to my wife now. But I think, yeah, I would say that one of the things that saved me from going to the hospital when I had COVID a year ago was the fact I had the Cognitolite use four times a day.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah.
Dr. Berman: So, I definitely ascribe some of the benefit and the recovery that I had and the lack of neurological damage to the fact that I could use that four times a day.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah. Then Marge asks, do you know if the inter nasal part of by Vielight neuro and X plus can help with mold infection? And, you know, I’m not aware of data on that yet. I don’t think there’s anything that’s been published by any of these groups about. Of course, we’ve talked about optimizing in general, zinc, vitamin D you know, NAC, all the various things, meaning your immune system functioning well is helpful, but is anyone aware of data?
Dr. Berman: I’m not.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, Julie, have you heard of any data about effects of violate or Vielight on mold infection? I have not.
Julie Gregory: I wish.
Dr. Berman: Wouldn’t surprise me if by boosting your immune system, you’re going to help reduce the, you know, effects of the mold and other kinds of, you know, EMF tech toxicity and things like that.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, Catherine is asking is do the same thing to a lesser degree? I’m not familiar with this.
Dr. Berman: Well, when you’re talking about light panels, you’re usually talking about red and sometimes a combination of red and infrared, but what the Jew and all those other devices have against them is the fact that they’re not up against your skin. And so, the power density of the light, the radiance of the light and the effect decreases at the square of the distance from the body. So, if you move something six inches away, but you’re saying you have a 30 watt, you know power output, you have to keep looking at the fact that you’re really looking at the square and you’re decreasing by the square of the distance. So, you might be getting a couple of, it’s just not the same as having, you know, 900 LEDs literally up against your scalp and shining in through your eyes.
Dr. Bredesen: Right, Flora there is asking about, is this suitable for someone with Lewy body? And certainly, we’ve seen repeatedly that people on our protocol with Lewy body do better. You have to look at the fact that these people mostly have a very significant toxic load. It is a Parkinson’s family disease, typically box unrelated. And certainly, people are often very sensitive to all sorts of things. The early studies on Aricept had their best results with people who actually had Lewy body. So, I assume that you’ve looked at some people with Lewy body …
Dr. Berman: And frontotemporal. Lewy body and frontotemporal. And like you just said, we found that the people with frontotemporal responded more rapidly than probable Alzheimer’s or Lewy body.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: So, it all depends.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, and so it’s great to hear that you’re seeing results with frontotemporal. On the chemical side, that’s been the tough one, very difficult to get results with that. So great to hear that you’re seeing that with photobiomodulation.
Dr. Berman: Yeah, and other kinds of stimulation did we were, I didn’t know whether you wanted to talk about transcranial direct current.
Dr. Bredesen: Let’s talk for a moment about a different approach. Tell us a little bit about what differentiates this from the photobiomodulation. And when you like to use this approach.
Dr. Berman: TDCS is really helpful in terms of providing an electrical field in the brain that contains certain frequency, pulse frequencies, and the way that we tend to use it more often now with people with neurodegenerative conditions is to deliver four different frequencies to the brain that are chosen at random. And every four or five seconds, the frequencies change so that the mirror neurons and the mirror mimicking response that the brain has to try and resonate with whatever’s coming in, its process, gets undermined. And what we find is that the habitual patterns, the stuck patterns of re of response in the central nervous system, then start to diminish their strengths of holding into those patterns and start to re organize themselves in more efficient, less stuck, less rigid ways. And what we see is an improvement in the coherence by using this very gentle, very non-invasive technique for disrupting the habitual pattern set every, but all of us get into in terms of how we respond to stimulation and this …
Dr. Bredesen: You have a preference, so if someone comes with cognitive decline, photobiomodulation, or do you prefer the TCDs?
Dr. Berman: Our protocol is to always include both. That we tend to do the disruption after we do the stimulation. So, we do the stimulation to help prime the system. We do the disruption to help get the bup brain ready for change. And then we do the neurofeedback in order to direct change in a particular way.
Dr. Bredesen: Got it, okay. And then Paul is saying, we struggled to move skeptics along, and this is definitely something that comes up again and again, and again, friends, partners, healthcare workers, a link to the list of papers. Dr. Berman shared with his colleague who presented in Sydney would be great. So, if you have some representatives that post that I think everybody would be happy about that. And then the last one let’s see here. And then Kathy comments about way of training someone to be an advocate. Absolutely and we certainly have training so that people can get the basic science. And I think that is critical to know, why are you recommending something? You know, we want to keep this on the science side, not on the politics side, what actually works? How can you prove that? And I see there are a couple more questions that have just come in here. One is how to, how to purchase this. So, Catherine would like a link. So, if you could set up a link, so you can show that people, how does it get started?
Dr. Berman: That’s our goal. And I mean, with nootropics, you’re generally dealing with people who are younger and more resilient. So, the kind of things that they’re trying to do for themselves in terms of optimizing health, certainly the photobiomodulation is going to support the overall efficiency of the CNS. So, any nootropic, and any other biochemical intervention is going to be served in a positive way, because the CNS is more, is going to be functioning more efficiently.
Dr. Bredesen: Any contraindications where you have, well, if you’re on this drug or that supplement, you shouldn’t be doing this.
Dr. Berman: That’s the kind of conversation I’d want to have with people directly. You know, in terms of, because everybody’s different. And just because you’re taking Zoloft doesn’t mean, but with some people, you know, you really might want to be titrating down the Zoloft or Wellbutrin or the, you know, whatever they might be. You really wanna think about that more granularly.
Dr. Bredesen: Great point. And then the last question here is from Anja, who says, what about for depression? And certainly, this sounds like the thing that would really lend itself for depression. Have you used this for people with depression?
Dr. Berman: We’ve been using this. I mean, we’ve been using this for people who have experienced trauma on every level. And so, especially people with anxiety disorders. And from my way of thinking, many of the situations where people are diagnosing themselves are being diagnosed with depression. What in fact is going on is that you’re seeing the kind of end result of chronic anxiety. And so, you really want to be treating the problem and not the defense.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, no, it sounds like PTSD, CTE, things like this might be absolutely helpful.
Dr. Berman: Absolutely.
Dr. Bredesen: And then a couple others that just came in here and Michael is saying, are there patients willing to share their success stories using PBM? And do you have you, I assume you’ve probably got some of these on your site.
Dr. Berman: Sure, oh yeah. And there, I mean, there are certainly people on the PBM on the Bredesen unaffiliated listserv, people have been sharing their experience with light therapy all along. I commenting to that list because I really want to encourage people to get away from the, you know … I’m going to just wing it with photobiomodulation and it’s like, no. That’s not the way to go with this. You know, get some professional guidance, get some support from people who know what they’re doing.
Dr. Berman: Originally, we got trained, didn’t we? I mean, we got trained to understand that the neuron is an electrochemical system.
Dr. Bredesen: Right.
Dr. Berman: So, if you change the chemistry, you’re going to change the electricity. Well, we’re just looking at going the other way.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, fantastic. Well, Dr. Marvin Berman, thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you for your expertise. Thank you for your experience and for the ongoing trials. I think this is going to be fantastic going forward and look forward to hearing more and more about these. Julie, thank you as always for your insights and for your experience. For people, I don’t know if this is, is there a final thing you want to add about the people who follow that info and their experience with a PBM.
Julie Gregory: I will continue talk to people about it. I’m interested in pursuing this and lots of people are so, thank you so much, Dr. Berman for sharing.
Dr. Berman: You’re welcome. I hope we can do a study where we can combine the protocols that we’ve been talking about tonight.
Dr. Bredesen: Yeah, I think that’d be a fantastic idea. All right, well, thank you very much, again. Look forward to further discussion. And everyone, please stay safe.
Dr. Berman: Bye bye.
Dr. Bredesen: Next time, all right, bye bye.
Julie Gregory: Bye bye.