Far infrared light has been used in many medical procedures. However, the detailed biological mechanisms of infrared light's effects have not yet been elucidated. Many researchers have pointed out the thermal effects of treatments such as infrared saunas, which are known to increase blood flow. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with gradual decreases in brain blood flow and resulting dementia. In this study, we attempted to clarify the beneficial effects of far infrared light using the 5xFAD mouse, a transgenic model of AD. We exposed 5xFAD mice to far infrared light for 5 months. Among the far infrared-exposed AD mice, body weights were significantly decreased, and the levels of nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein were significantly increased in selected brain areas (compared to those in non-irradiated AD mice). However, cognition and motor function (as assessed by Morris water maze and Rota Rod tests, respectively) did not differ significantly between the irradiated and non-irradiated AD mouse groups. These results indicated that exposure to far infrared light may have beneficial biological effects in AD mice. However, the experimental schedule and methods may need to be modified to obtain clearer results.
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