It is possible to beneficially influence the behavior of cells with suitable wavelengths and intensities of laser light, and for some narrow uses this may be roughly analogous to a limited form of small molecule drug development. Light can provoke cells into changing their internal operations, just like small molecules, and no doubt has side-effects, just like small molecules. The open access commentary here makes for interesting reading, though it seems that the marketplace for low level laser light treatments is somewhat ahead of the scientific understanding of the basis for benefits.
Mitochondria play key roles in regulating the ageing process. When their membrane potential and function declines, their production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) reduces and they can signal cell death. This is particularly marked in the energy demanding central nervous system, where the neurons and glia, undergo some key structural and functional changes during ageing.
Recently, photobiomodulation, the application of red to infrared light on body tissues has been reported to alter the course of aged decline. These wavelengths are absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase, the rate limiting enzyme in mitochondrial respiration, increasing its activity along with mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP
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