Shining Light On Aging Hearts May Slow Heart Aging and Ward Off Deadly Diseases

By: | April 3rd, 2023

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death worldwide. In the USA alone, almost 20% of people older than 65 have been diagnosed with heart disease.

Aging has a significant effect on the heart, it increases the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Now, a study has suggested that light therapy could slow down cardiovascular aging

Light therapy has proved to be an effective treatment for a range of illnesses…from healing burns faster to killing tumors.  Scientists think that it can also help delay the onset of age-related diseases.

The researchers at the University at Buffalo conducted the study on elderly mice. They found that photobiomodulation therapy (PBM) can slow cardiovascular aging and significantly delay the onset of a variety of age-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Light therapy can greatly reduce the risk of death

Praveen Arany, associate professor of oral biology at the UB School of Dental Medicine, said “The idea was to see if intervention in middle age could allow people to avoid further age-related heart deterioration.”

Arany, who began his professional career as a dentist, says that he became interested in light therapy after seeing how it helps tissues to heal.

“After a tooth extraction, we have to wait for the wound to heal before we can proceed with the treatment,” said Arany. He wanted to explore its potential far beyond what has been previously known.

For the study, middle-aged mice (14 months old) were exposed to near-infrared (NIR) light. The research showed an improvement in heart function after exposure to PBM therapy.  PBM also mitigated the thickness of the cardiac wall. The mice also had good gait symmetry on the treadmill, indicating improved neuromuscular coordination.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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