Aletheia from the Fountain Portal #1
Circadian Rhythms and Photobiomodulation
About & Introduction
Thank you for joining Fountain Portal. You can also read this newsletter in a collapsible tree format on Roam Research, which will eventually become a knowledge graph that allows you to explore all research from prior newsletters through bi-directional links.
The anchor content of this newsletter is links to recent research studies, with a sentence or two summary. Occassionally a bit of additional commentary may be included. Whereas most medicine in use today is based on either the mechanical or the biochemical, this newsletter will focus on the photonic, thermal, and electromagnetic.
Additional content includes
Links to every blog-post. The blog-posts should be more enjoyable to read than the newsletter research round-ups, which may be a bit on the dry side.
Every product launch. We are trying to build iconic products here so don't expect very many of these.
Any interesting articles, news, or product from other companies, even if they compete with us.
For the forseeable future, this is the primary and only mailing list for Fountain Portal. The reasons for this format, our approach, and the scope of content we'll cover will be the subject of one of our first few blog posts. Those should start trickling in within the next month or so. Please bear with us in the meantime.
The Fountain Portal website launched recently if you want to check that out. No blog posts yet, but there is a glossary and a teaser description of the 1st product that is currently being built.
635 nm red light. They say they used a 5 Watt laser for 10 minutes on mice, but that the irradiance was only 72 mW/cm^2. This makes little sense since lasers usually focus light in a small area so one would expect irradiance to be many times _higher_ than 5 Watts. Maybe just a translation error
Showed reduced free-fatty-acids and improved insulin sensitivity i.e. the light made the mice less diabetic.
Application of oxytocin with low-level laser irradiation suppresses the facilitation of cortical excitability by partial ligation of the infraorbital nerve in rats: An optical imaging study (December 2019)
A study in rats showed that adding a daily dose of 810 nm light from a 0.1 watt laser for 500 seconds to oxytocin improved markers for reduced neuropathic pain. Pharmaceutical opiods have a high addiction risk so if near-IR light can lower the necessary doses to alleviate pain, it may reduce this risk.
A variety of wavelengths were applied to worms, which have a high percentage of stem cells, which improves sensitivity. They found that red (635 nm) increased regeneration after decapitation by 24% while green (520 nm) decreased it by 22%. Other wavelengths had negligible effects. They noted another study which showed enhanced regeneration with near-IR (880 nm), but no effects from 630 nm red light. It is unfortunate that the researchers in this did not include longer wavelengths than 635 nm since they could have confirmed the greater effects from near-IR.
Idea: My impression from skimming a number of studies on red and infrared light is that 810-850nm (near-IR) is generally far more useful than red light at 600-640 nm, or deep red at 660-680 nm. I suspect the reason this is not instantly obvious is that most studies are not actually hitting the upper limits of the beneficial dose response. (Some studies manage to show a decrease in effects with an increase in dose, but the dose is not a linear space since total energy as varied with time is the modulated variable with power usually kept constant.)
At a basic level, near-IR effectively penetrates tissue while visible wavelengths for the most part do not. Given similar power levels being studied with both, there is then a much higher volumetric dose from red since it concentrates on a thin surface. I suspect even larger effect sizes would be possible if the power levels of near-IR were increased correspondingly. (Note, this is a bit of a simplification since there are both localized and global effects.) A key reason this isn't happening is likely ease of use. 620-635 nm light as was used in this study is easy to obtain because it is the wavelength that is used commercially to produce red light. 660 nm is very uncommon because it is a bad choice if your goal is simply to illuminate a room. I cannot be certain about my conjecture, but if I do nothing to determine the answer to this question, that I actually care about, the scientists will be perfectly happy studying thousands more worms and learning all the minutia there is to know in that niche.
According to these data, it was determined that caffeine used during pregnancy delayed the development of lung, and melatonin, which is a strong antioxidant, minimized the delay... Melatonin therapy after caffeine administration markedly improved biochemical findings and prohibited oxidative stress and inflammation
Key Takeaway: Melatonin is a critical hormone for a variety of reasons, not just sleep. There are many studies similar to this one.
We demonstrate that melatonin has a profound regulatory effect on microglia/macrophage polarization toward anti-inflammatory phenotype through STAT3 pathway. Our findings suggest that melatonin post-treatment reduces ischemic stroke–induced brain damage and improves functional outcomes, providing new evidence that melatonin might be a promising therapeutic strategy for stroke.
Overall, the anticancer activity of melatonin, combined with its actions via multiple signaling pathways, is considered hugely exciting to use this drug as a possible treatment strategy to cure cancer. Apart from its anticancer potential, this drug has shown to induce modulation of chemotherapy toxicity and improving its therapeutic efficacy.
Electricity and Magnetism Research
Transcranial direct current stimulation had a number of positive effects: increases in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and decreases in anxiety, depression, and cravings. Any non-pharmaceutical treatment should be of keen interest since the standard of care with opiod addiction often involves the use of other drugs that also pose a risk for addiction.
A device was made to deliver pulsed magnetic induction into the brain. They showed this to be ~40 times as effective as transcranial direct current stimulation in terms of dosage that they can deliver to the brain. The alternatives often involve surgical implementation. Relevant for various neurological diseases.
Note: This is not particularly expensive to build. Yet a company that has commercialized a similar technology for treating brains cancers charges about $20k per month for a similar cap device and had a market cap of ~$8b last I checked with just that product it seemed.
Another study showing that people learn faster when undergoing transcranial direct current stimulation.
Product News, Patents, & Interesting Articles
The Dreem 2 launched recently. A friend that follows these sorts of trackers more closely than me mentioned it's the only device that is actually comparable to the EEG polysomnography equipment that would be used if you go into a sleep lab. The conclusion on other devices seems to be that they are widely inaccurate, which would make this a fairly noteworthy product.
Note: Unless I built it, I have zero affiliation with any product mentioned.
I found this patent application on near-infrared light amusing (I'll be covering near-IR in detail in future blog posts within the next month or so). Their idea is that if you want to hit someone with near-IR from the front AND back at the same time you can put a panel in front of the person AND another one behind them. What's more, there are BUTTONS that can control all the panels.
Anyway, that's roughly the level of innovation in the space, which is why I'm getting into it. Everything on the market now is about an order of magnitude off from where it needs to be, which is why I've been building my own near-IR devices for a while.
Neat article about how the Greeks and other people interpreted and described color in the world with minimal knowledge about the physics of light and color.
If you want to read any paywalled article in full, DO NOT use sci-hub.tw to download it in violation of copyright law. Pay no attention to the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 27:
the right... to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.