Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Science

Scientists Claim Infrared Helmet Could Reverse Alzheimer's Symptoms 201

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the feeling-light-headed dept.
penguin_dance writes "Ready to put on your thinking cap? There's a report out of the UK regarding an 'experimental helmet which scientists say could reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease within weeks of being used'. The helmet is to be worn for ten minutes every day and stimulates the growth of brain cells using infra-red light. The article explains, 'Low level infra-red red is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue and encourage their repair. It is able to penetrate the skin and even get through the skull.' Human trials are due to start this summer." I wont make any nomad-based predictions, but I'll remain on the skeptic side of the fence for now.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Claim Infrared Helmet Could Reverse Alzheimer's Symptoms

Comments Filter:
  • by Zymergy (803632) * on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:33AM (#22191328)
    Seeing the linked article's image of the 3 Doctor's holding their experimental "Prototype Cognitive Helmet", I can't help but imagine one of them wearing it while reenacting Rick Moranis' doll-play monologue from Spaceballs:

    [Playing with his dolls]
    Dark Helmet: [In Dark Helmet voice] And now Princess Vespa, I have you in my clutches, to have my wicked way with you, the way I want to.
    [In Vespa voice]
    Dark Helmet: No, no, go away, I hate you! And yet... I find you strangely attractive.
    [In D.H. voice]
    Dark Helmet: Of course you do! Druish princesses are often attracted to money and power, and I have both, and you *know* it!
    [In V. voice]
    Dark Helmet: No, no, leave me alone!
    [In D.H. voice]
    Dark Helmet: No, kiss me!
    [V]
    Dark Helmet: No! Stop!
    [D.H]
    Dark Helmet: Yes, yes!
    [V]
    Dark Helmet: Oh, oh, oh! Ohhhh, your helmet is so big!
  • Will it work even if I'm wearing my tinfoil hat [zapatopi.net]?
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by ILuvRamen (1026668)
      it seems thinner than a skull but who knows. My question is, once it makes you remember what channel the sci fi network is on, will your (infrared based) remote work? Ooh you know what would be even funnier! I'm thinking it pulses IR light in patterns cuz otherwise just plain old beaming from the sun would do it too like other ppl commented. And to get through your head, they're gonna be DAMN BRIGHT so if some escaped out part of the helmet the light pulses might change your TV. So then you'd be sittin
  • Sunlight? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teeleton (148923) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:36AM (#22191352)
    So how is this helmet different from just walking around in the sunshine? It's not like there isn't any infra-red light in ordinary sunlight.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If it's what I think it is, it is a specific frequency of infrared light which stimulates complex IV in the mitochondria. It has been used as a form of retinal therapy to prevent retinal cell death in methanol poisoning (at least in rats).

      In cell culture tests it can sometimes help cell growth, but I'm sceptical that it will do what they claim.

      The difference between this and walking around in sunlight would presumably be the intensity of the specific radiation. It would be many more milliEinsteins than woul
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bearhouse (1034238)
      Assuming that you live in a place with a regular, consistent source of sunshine.
      Plus older people tend to avoid the sun, as they can't stand the heat / brightness, quite apart from the cancer risks...

      Still, on a lighter note:

      Doctor: I'm sorry, Mr Smith, but your wife's symptoms match either Alzheimer's or AIDS.
      Smith: *gasp* What can I do, Doc?
      Dr: Well, I suggest you take her into town, and leave here there. If she finds her way home, wear a condom!
      • is that it both increases and lowers your risk of cancer. vitamin d production and all that.

        but about OP's comment that he'll stay on the skeptic's side of the fence for now, doesn't that just mean you're not going to let someone put an infrared helmet on you until further tests have been done? or are you going to walk around actively disbelieving it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756)

      So how is this helmet different from just walking around in the sunshine? It's not like there isn't any infra-red light in ordinary sunlight.

      The difference is that Virulite (the company who makes the helmet) doesn't get paid when you just walk around in the sun.

    • by solitas (916005)
      Seriously - if you'd seen the image BEFORE you read the title or the article - what would have been the first idea to pop into your head? :)
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      It's not. They say they're using levels similar to those found in sunlight.

      So go outside. On the other hand, during the winter the sunlight here isn't strong enough, so a helmet might come in handy. On the gripping hand, people with Alzheimer's tend not to get out much at any time of year, particularly in the winter.
    • by cluckshot (658931)

      The explanation of laser vs sunlight isn't entirely one of the question above. Sunlight may in fact contain IR radiation at the color of the laser. It contains a fairly diminished amount relative to the pure output of the laser and it's penetration in brightness is diminished a lot. Sunlight IR penetrates about 1/2 inch into a person or less. That is significant and has many good clinical values which are being ignored for the most part. However; a laser by its brightness may penetrate much deeper into

  • Foil, then bake. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If infrared will penetrate the skull? Then people in sunny climates should have lessor incidents of the disease?
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      MS and Parkinson's, which in some ways are quite similar to Alzheimer's, have incidences with a strong correlation to latitude. Alzheimer's link to latitude isn't nearly as strong, so I suspect there isn't enough IR in sunlight to have a lot of effect. That doesn't mean their treatment won't work, just that you'd have to use stronger doses.

      One potential problem is that IR doesn't penetrate very FAR into the brain (though it definitely penetrates the skull). I have a colleague who measures cortical blood
  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:41AM (#22191384) Journal
    Won't it work even better on those of us who don't have the Alzheimer's, yet?
    • by neBelcnU (663059)
      I thought the next logical question was "Where's the lemon-juicer?"
    • Really? You want your brain cells to simply grow?

      That's called a cancer. Feel free. Can't guarantee that you'd like it, though... ;)
    • Yes, it will work better on those of us without Alzheimer's ... you're remember all sorts of things that were best left forgotten.
    • Low level infra-red red is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue and encourage their repair.

      What if you have cancer? Will it get worse or better? Can you focus it on your heart if you have heart problems? Or on your butt if you want to look like Jay-Lo? Ad nauseum... :)
  • WTF are the these small fans doing on a helmet which is suppose to have infrared?
  • Interesting... similarly... "New technology developed by Emory and Georgia Tech researchers could aid the early identification of people susceptible to Alzheimer's disease. A portable device called Detect [emorywheel.com] may provide an easier, less expensive way to test for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which often leads to Alzheimer's. The test could provide potential Alzheimer's patients the chance to slow the disease's progress with medication before serious symptoms set in." Check out the nearly identical picture.
    • Oh no!! Alzheimer's is becoming an epidemic! - They've already forgotten other people are working on helmets! They could really use a helmet to reverse Alzheimer's right now... I wonder if anyone has done that before...
  • "We age because our cells lose the desire to regenerate and repair themselves."

    http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Cellular_regeneration_and_entertainment_chamber [memory-alpha.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by El Torico (732160)

      "We age because our cells lose the desire to regenerate and repair themselves."

      I have this image of brain cells getting depressed and just hanging around, slowly degenerating.

  • How does the light reach the brain cells ??

    Does infrared light have the ability to pass through the skull ?... sounds like snake oil to me... I'll stick with my pyramid hat.

  • Will this be the new way of people not affected by Alzheimers increasing their brain power?

    This could be the new way of boosting performance for exams.....
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      No... mature neurons aren't really supposed to do a lot of growing. More likely you'd be encouraging the growth of glial cells, which make up the majority of cells in the brain and are responsible for all the housekeeping tasks like structural support, making myelin and tasting the food for the neurons.
  • "Low level infra-red red is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue and encourage their repair. It is able to penetrate the skin and even get through the skull."

    Doesn't seem to be doing much for the ol' hair follicles
  • by Raptoer (984438)
    It shines a light on your head in the infrared spectrum... which is basically heat radiation... So it's a head warmer?

    I know IR has more things than heat associated with it, but still... its a head warmer!
  • Skeptical and yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SquierStrat (42516) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:50AM (#22191450) Homepage
    My father has Alzheimer's. Most Alzheimer's patients are very kind and sweet but my father is so bitter that he is always angry because at 55 he realizes his brain is slowly killing him. His short term memory is nil. He walks especially slow and his communication is getting poorer. He was diagnosed in October 2005 and he was showing symptoms before that.

    Frankly, This is an illustration of why our process of developing medications is ridiculous. This may not work (though I resent that "wontwork" tag) but frankly there are at least 3 very promising treatments for Alzheimer's Disease in early trials. But because of the length and the way trials work, if they are successful none of them will emerge from trials early enough to help my father. And frankly, he and my family would be willing to try anything to help him. And in the end the worse outcome is that he doesn't get better. But we will never know. 10 years from now Alzheimer's may be no worse than severe diabetes, MS, Crohn's Disease or what have you: controllable, not curable with a quality of life equivalent to most other people. But because we would rather not kill a dying person to find out if we'll kill them or save them, my father will never get benefit of this.
    • by Arthur B. (806360)
      Sssshh, don't you know the FDA is here for the common good ? Moreover since we only exist as part of a society we have to accept its rules and its laws and beside it's all chosen by the majority vote so you can't complain. Now shut up, pay your taxes, don't forget to vote and be a good citizen.

      I am sincerely sorry for your father, it's very sad that his tragedy is made even worse through deliberate malevolence. The regulators truly deserve the harshest punishment for their actions, unfortunately they'll pro
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ilikepi314 (1217898)
        Oh come on; if one of your family members was given a vaccine and a weekly later developed some severe disease and died (even if they were already dying!), you would again go with the "deliberate malevolence" argument and probably sue someone.

        Sorry, didn't mean to direct that toward you, this was actually meant to be a more general societal thing. Until people get over their sue-happy kick lately, all government entities are going to tread softly, I imagine, particularly those directly related to public hea
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by oncehour (744756)
          The McDonalds Coffee incident != Frivilous. Quit eating the dogfood and research the actual facts. The coffee was knowingly and neglectfully above safe levels for hours.

          I will grant that we are a sue happy society, but there's a reason for that. Being an American who's lived in Canada for a couple years I'm noticing there's a lot more government support and government agencies here. The government regulates the corporations so the average Canadian doesn't even need to think of suing. In the US on the ot
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Except it actually works the other way around ...
            Corporations have bottomless wallets while the people don't. Your best bet is a class action lawsuit that returns almost nothing per individual, while the corporations can sue you instead.
            I cite the RIAA and the sony rootkit incident.

            Anyway, I see your point, but it's a two way street. Those with money can, and some do, abuse the system. In doing so, they ruin its reputation.
            • by Adambomb (118938)

              Corporations have bottomless wallets while the people don't.

              I never understood this mentality. Do people really believe that when they're suing a corporation that the money just magically appears and isn't impacting anything down the line? The fact that most people end up sitting on that cash the rest of their lives makes it as it they've effectively pulled that cash straight out of the countries GNP, as the corporation in question WILL cut costs elsewhere to hedge the difference.

              The impact is people losing jobs or lower wages, poorer quality materials in use, poor

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Kreigaffe (765218)
            No, actually, the mcdonald's coffee case WAS entirely frivolous and a complete mockery of the court system

            Coffee is supposed to be brewed HOT. It is supposed to be served HOT. You spill HOT SHIT on you, and you GET BURNT.

            That woman was sold a cup of coffee that was somewhere between 180-190 F. That's hot, sure. Starbucks sells hotter coffee -- actually the crap sold by starbucks is FAR too hot to drink and tastes like it's been overroasted and brewed too hot and kept too hot for too long, but nobody goe
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by roadsider (970039)

              No, actually the lawsuit was NOT frivolous. It was actually an exercise in corporate comeuppance.

              The woman, who was elderly and rather frail, originally asked McDonalds to reimburse her for her medical bills incurred for treating second degree burns. While it may be necessary to BREW coffee at 205 degrees, it is not necessary (or prudent) to keep it on the warmer at that temperature, which McDonalds was doing.

              The woman only brought the suit after McDonalds refused her request to compensate her medi

              • by Kreigaffe (765218)
                The temperature they served their coffee was entirely reasonable and proper for coffee.

                If you go to a pizza place and buy a pizza, and are handed one that JUST came out of the oven, are told "This just came out, it's real hot", and immediately bite into a slice -- you're going to have some pretty nasty burns in your mouth.
                And it's NOT the pizza place's fault. It's yours.
                If you take that pizza, and trip and fall over your own feet and land on top of the pizza and burn your hands? It's YOUR fault, again.
                Exa
              • by Yahma (1004476)

                The 81 year old woman suffered THIRD DEGREE BURNS because McDonald's kept their coffee 20 degrees hotter than most other restaurants.
                No, the woman suffered THIRD DEGREE BURNS because she spilled hot coffee on herself! You must be a lawyer.
            • Coffee is supposed to be brewed HOT. It is supposed to be served HOT. You spill HOT SHIT on you, and you GET BURNT.

              It's also "supposed" to be served in a sturdy ceramic cup with an open top that allows rapid evaporative cooling (which is why the coffee needs to be that hot in the first place). Failing that, a sturdy cardboard cup would at least be reasonable.

              What is obviously not reasonable is a cheap styrofoam cup that gets soft when it is exposed to that level of heat, although this may not be obvious to

            • Coffee is supposed to be brewed HOT. It is supposed to be served HOT.
              I'm drinking a cold coffee as I type this.
              When I was in japan I told people that where I come from, you can't get cold coffee, and that seemed weird and alien to them.

              The point of the woman's lawsuit was that handing people flimsy cups of dangerously hot liquids at a drive-through was not a good idea.
            • Coffee is supposed to be brewed HOT. It is supposed to be served HOT. You spill HOT SHIT on you, and you GET BURNT
              That woman was sold a cup of coffee that was somewhere between 180-190 F. That's hot, sure

              225 consumers tasted black coffees at six different temperatures, ranking them for preference. The lowest temperature was below the pain threshold, the next below the epithelial damage threshold, the next two above. The two highest temperatures approximated to coffees served commercially.

              The rank order

            • I frequently hear people trot out the spilled coffee case as the quintessential friviolous lawsuit, but it truly isn't. I became well acquainted with this case when my friend studied it during law school, and in the name of dispelling this misperception I'll point out the following facts (in this case cited from the wikipedia page on Liebeck; the stated facts jive well with my recollection of reading the case dockets):

              Liebeck was wearing cotton sweatpants; they absorbed the coffee and held it against her

          • by anagama (611277)
            re McD's coffee incident: Not only did they have prior notice as you note (there were numerous other incidents), the coffee in question gave her 3d degree burns in the groin area.

            To those tempted to use McD's coffee a a snarky "example" of the legal system gone awry, consider that a 3d degree burn is where the skin is totally destroyed down to the flesh, and then think about you might do if the skin was totally burned off your cock.

            People who buy into the whole "McD's coffee"="lawyers bad" argument are
        • by ibbey (27873)
          The FDA is the biggest example of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" in the US government. With the exception of a few right-wingnuts, nobody seriously argues that it should be done away with. Yet even though I disagree with Arthur B's basic arguments and probably pretty close to his whole ideaology, he is right that the FDA as it's set up today is causing almost as much harm as it is good. It fails to do it's most basic missions, whether it's ensuring the safety of medications (see Vioxx among others)
        • by Arthur B. (806360)

          Oh come on; if one of your family members was given a vaccine and a weekly later developed some severe disease and died (even if they were already dying!), you would again go with the "deliberate malevolence" argument and probably sue someone


          No I wouldn't. I am a principled person.If you think this is a common behavior then it's no wonder we are ruled by an immoral bunch of criminals.
    • by Yetihehe (971185)
      New medicament is starting. Those who are too ill won't have benefit. It IS normal that there are some people which will not get benefit of something because it is too late for them. For not being in such a situation, all ill should be transported in time machine to future, where their illness is treatable.
    • by mcrbids (148650)
      But we will never know. 10 years from now Alzheimer's may be no worse than severe diabetes, MS, Crohn's Disease or what have you: controllable, not curable with a quality of life equivalent to most other people. But because we would rather not kill a dying person to find out if we'll kill them or save them, my father will never get benefit of this.

      Which is horse shit. Sorry. But there are plenty of areas outside the USA where "experimental" treatments are available right now. Places where restrictions on th
    • Godwin freaks, piss off for a bit will you.

      The nazi's had your approach, they believed that killing people if it might save others was a good idea, especially if the people were being killed were less worthy anyway. Who is going to be the subject of your medical experiments? There is an awfull lot of research that would go a lot faster if only we had human trials with less restrictions.

      To this day a lot of the research from that era is still the ONLY research available because nobody else allows us to kil

      • by 4D6963 (933028)

        Google for "medical research foster childeren new york" and you will find a case where somebody without ethics decided that people should be volunteered for medical research.

        WTF, I googled for it and it didn't return any results [google.com]. They don't want us to hear the truth, dude.

        for the sake of one human being we cannot loose our humanity

        That's right, that would be just immoral and unethical to try to save that person. Not helping him and letting him die slowly from his horrible disease is the only humane t

        • by jafiwam (310805)
          It turns up this article and you saying that now.

          But, if you are going to be snarky, at least try not being a complete moron and don't use quotes around your search criteria in Google while at the same time failing to make a complete sentence.

          Medical journals tend to use complete sentences. So maybe try two phrases instead.
      • by FleaPlus (6935)
        The nazi's had your approach, they believed that killing people if it might save others was a good idea, especially if the people were being killed were less worthy anyway.

        I'm sorry, but WTF are you talking about? The person you're responded to said nothing about wanting to test drugs on his father against his will. As it is now, terminally ill patients can't even get access to drugs that haven't gone through the lengthy process of federal approval yet, even if they explicitly want to take the risk (since t
    • But because we would rather not kill a dying person to find out if we'll kill them or save them, my father will never get benefit of this.

      Actually, while a compound is still going through FDA trials, it is easier to get ahold of to the lay person then if it "passes" the trial. The chemical manufacturers are now churning out those compounds for research trials, and anyone can buy them for "non-human research only". As well as some license a "research supplier" to also handle sales of these compounds to in
    • by Pedrito (94783)
      rankly, This is an illustration of why our process of developing medications is ridiculous.

      I sympathize with your father's condition, and I can certainly understand your frustration with the drug approval process. While the process has a number of problems, the idea behind it is pretty solid. It takes a long time to determine what the effects of treatments can be. Doctors pledge an oath to do no harm. Part of that is taking steps in ensuring that the treatment they give won't make things worse and the drug
    • by tgibbs (83782)

      Frankly, This is an illustration of why our process of developing medications is ridiculous. This may not work (though I resent that "wontwork" tag) but frankly there are at least 3 very promising treatments for Alzheimer's Disease in early trials.

      There are a lot more than 3. But think about the problems. Alzheimer's Disease develops slowly, so it takes years to tell if a treatment is working. And while this notion looks pretty benign (I'd lay money that it won't work, but it's worth trying), that is not the case in general. One of the most promising treatment ideas was an antibody against Alzheimer plaque protein. And when tried, it actually seemed to be working. Unfortunately, it also caused fatal encephalitis [medscape.com]

    • by Phat_Tony (661117)
      Hey- I'm not a doctor, but I just wanted to mention something you should look into if you haven't- make sure the possibility of your father having NPH [wikipedia.org] has been excluded. I mention it because the early-onset age for Alzheimer's and the slow walking thing are consistent with NPH, and NPH is almost always misdiagnosed as either Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. Also, NPH can be surgically remedied- although NPH causes brain-damage, and only a limited and widely varying degree of lost function can be restored followi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:53AM (#22191464)
    Another therapy reported in Science Daily shows reversal of Alzheimer's symptoms in minutes, rather than weeks

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109091102.htm [sciencedaily.com]

    From the article:

    "An extraordinary new scientific study, which for the first time documents marked improvement in Alzheimer's disease within minutes of administration of a therapeutic molecule, has just been published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.

    "This new study highlights the importance of certain soluble proteins, called cytokines, in Alzheimer's disease. The study focuses on one of these cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha(TNF), a critical component of the brain's immune system. Normally, TNF finely regulates the transmission of neural impulses in the brain. The authors hypothesized that elevated levels of TNF in Alzheimer's disease interfere with this regulation. To reduce elevated TNF, the authors gave patients an injection of an anti-TNF therapeutic called etanercept. Excess TNF-alpha has been documented in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer's.

    "The new study documents a dramatic and unprecedented therapeutic effect in an Alzheimer's patient: improvement within minutes following delivery of perispinal etanercept, which is etanercept given by injection in the spine. Etanercept (trade name Enbrel) binds and inactivates excess TNF. Etanercept is FDA approved to treat a number of immune-mediated disorders and is used off label in the study."
    • A bit optimistic (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tgibbs (83782)
      The wide publicity given to this report is probably unfortunate, given how many people are desperate for a cure.
      Key points:
      This is a case study of one patient.
      Treatment was not double blinded. Patient's family and doctor knew about the treatment.
      From the paper, the degree of improvement sounds a bit short of complete reversal of symptoms

      Upon returning to the clinic one week following perispinal etanercept administration for his weekly dose the patient's wife and son confirmed that he had remained markedly clinically improved throughout the week, a fact which was remarked upon by the family [see Additional file 1]. He was noticed to be less reluctant to join in conversation. On re-examination by author ET prior to repeat dosing one week after the initial dose, the patient correctly identified the year, month, season, day of week and state. He appeared to answer with less frustration, and the examiner's impression was that there was reduced latency of response, and his affect seemed improved. On the FAS test for verbal fluency when asked to list all of the words that start with the letter F in 60 seconds he listed 8 words, and named 5 animals in 60 seconds.

      The study author has a patent on this treatment strategy.

      Severity of Alzheimer's dementia can vary dramatically from day to day, and many patients show periods of near-comp

  • By the look of that helmet, I'd be able to replicate it by strapping my computer box to my head. If I then set the box to calculate some insanely difficult task, like tic-tac-toe, the heat would penetrate by brain and make me effectively immune to degenerative diseases of the the brain.
  • ...where the PSU fans for my PCs have gone! Are they there to prevent your brain cooking while being bathed in the infrared grill? ...here! [dailymail.co.uk]
  • I couldn't find a link to read the article but here [nih.gov] is the abstract.

    For the lazy: Middle aged / young rats are put in a 3D maze with some middle-aged mice receiving 6 minute daily doses of IR. Middle aged mice treated with IR show (nebulously-termed) improved memory but do not navigate the 3D maze more quickly as a result.

    Doesn't sound like such the panacea the Dailymail article makes it out to be.
  • I've been trying to mute my gf with the TV remote for years. Its done nothing for her.
  • Well, it may not reverse Alzheimer's, but it will reverse hair loss! Guaranteed!
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Saturday January 26, 2008 @03:45AM (#22191652) Journal
    An 80-year-old couple is having trouble remembering things, so they go
                    to the doctor to make sure there's nothing wrong.
                    After an exam, the doctor says, "You're physically okay, but you guys
                    might want to start writing notes to help you remember things."
                    That night they're watching TV when the old man gets up from his chair.
                    His wife says, "Where are you going?"
                    He says, "I'm going to the kitchen to get a glass of water."
                    She says, "Will you get me some Vanilla ice cream?"
                    He says, "All right."
                    She says, "Don't you think you should write it down?"
                    He says, "I don't have to write it down. Vanilla ice cream."
                    She says, "And could I have strawberries and whipped cream?"
                    He says, "All right."
                    She says, "Don't you think you should write it down?"
                    He says, "I don't have to write it down.Vanilla ice cream with
                    strawberries and whipped cream."
                    Twenty minutes later he walks in and hands her a plate of bacon and eggs.
                    She says, "You forgot my fucking toast."
  • by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @03:46AM (#22191658)

    "...an 'experimental helmet which scientists say could reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease..."

    "Low level infra-red red is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue and encourage their repair..."

    I guess I'm just a cynical bastard now, but having weasel words in a story like this whispers, "snake oil" or, "wishful thinking" to me. Maybe it's because all the people selling quack stuff are careful about how they say things for legal reasons, and now I put too much effort into scrutinizing how medical claims are worded. Call me when it's actually curing Alzheimers in a no-shit, double-blind, randomized study with more than a handful of participants.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FleaPlus (6935)
      I guess I'm just a cynical bastard now, but having weasel words in a story like this whispers, "snake oil" or, "wishful thinking" to me.

      Uh, they're scientists engaging in very preliminary research, and you're criticizing them because they're being honest about how experimental it is? They aren't making any medical claims whatsoever. They're just basically saying "we found this interesting result in rats, let's see if it also applies to humans."

      Call me when it's actually curing Alzheimers in a no-shit, doubl
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      The "weasel words" you point out are usually the mark of decent scientific research. Basically, we're not exactly sure, but this is a possible mechanism.

      The real snake oil tends to deal in absolutes, or at least give you the best impression possible that it's an absolute. No snake oil salesman would ever tell you that something "could reverse the symptoms...." He'd be sure to at least work the word cure in there. If he were worried about being sued he'd tell you that he's legally not allowed to claim me
  • But... (Score:4, Funny)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 26, 2008 @03:56AM (#22191694)
    Will it help me remember what I actually wanted when I went down the steps to the basement?
    • Reminder (Score:3, Funny)

      by phorm (591458)
      Don't worry about that, I can remind you...

      Your last words before doing so were "mom, I'm going back to my room now" :-)
  • [blockquote]'Low level infra-red red is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue and encourage their repair. It is able to penetrate the skin and even get through the skull.'[/blockquote]
    That's funny. When I leave the infrared transmitter for my wireless headphones on when I go to bed, I don't seem to sleep as well.
  • The tin foil hats are eating the color red. All frying goes noggin into the sea. Wash the green flamingo with utmost jump.

    Over star to tape and grass. I like pie!
  • They could call it the Alzheimer's Subcranial Stimulation hat. Otherwise known as the... nah, I'm not going there.

    --Rob

  • Could this reverse that kind of damage too?
  • by CaseyB (1105)
    An infrared helmet won't cure Alzheimer's, but an infrared helmet with a Wii tracking system on their TV would blow their poor confused minds [youtube.com].
  • The thing must run awfully hot, it's got enough cooling fans on it.
  • So cell phones give us cancer because they heat our brain, but this helmet prevents alzheimer's because... it heats our brain ???
  • That's all you need to know, right there. As far as credible science reporting goes, they're up there with the Weekly World News.

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

Working...