Dementia patient makes 'amazing' progress after using infra-red helmet
Two months ago Clem Fennell was fading fast.
The victim of an aggressive type of dementia, the 57-year-old businessmen was unable to answer the phone, order a meal or string more than a couple of words together.
In desperation, his family agreed to try a revolutionary new treatment - a bizarre-looking, experimental helmet devised by a British GP that bathes the brain in infra-red light twice a day.
To their astonishment, Mr Fennel began to make an astonishing recovery in just three weeks.
"My husband, Clem, was fading away. It is as if he is back" said his wife Vickey Fennell, 55. "His personality has started to show again. We are absolutely thrilled."
While the helmet has yet to be proven in clinical trials, the family say the effects of the 10 minute sessions are incredible. Mr Fennell can now hold conversations and go shopping unaccompanied.
The treatment is the brainchild of Dr Gordon Dougal, a County Durham GP. He believes the device could eventually help thousands of dementia patients.
"Potentially, this is hugely significant," said Dr Dougal, who is based in Easington, County Durham and is a director of Virulite, a medical research company.
Developed with Sunderland University, the helmet has 700 LED lights that penetrate the skull. They are thought to be the right wavelength to stimulate the growth of brain cells, slowing down the decline in memory and brain function and reversing symptoms of dementia.
Clem Fennell - the head of a family engineering firm in Cincinnati, Ohio - travelled to the UK after neurologists told him nothing could stop the decline of his dementia. The family's friends had seen a report about the helmet on CBS.
"Honestly I can tell you that within ten days, the deterioration was stopped, then we started to see improvements," said Mrs Fennell, from North Kentucky. "He started to respond to people more quickly when they talked to him."
Three weeks later, the father of two is still making gradual improvements.
His daughter, 22-year-old Maggie said: "When we go to the restaurant we usually have to order his meals for him, now he can order for himself."
"Now we are okay about letting him go to the bank or the post office but he would not have been able to do that three weeks ago.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... l?ITO=1490
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