Infrared Light Therapy Is No Better Than a Placebo for Treating Neuropathy

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By: Patrick Totty

Texas researchers says that an infrared light therapy that seemed to hold great promise in treating diabetic neuropathy works no better than “sham” (placebo) therapy.

Scientists at Texas A&M University Health and Science Center College of Medicine tested 69 diabetic patients with impaired ability to sense vibrations in their feet. They gave some patients lamps for home use that emitted monochromatic infrared energy (MIRE), and gave others lamps that emitted normal incandescent light.

Patients bathed their feet in the lights for 40 minutes per day for 90 days. Researchers were hoping that MIRE would be found to improve nerve conductivity and even prevent foot ulcers.

At the end of the study, however, they found no appreciable differences between the MIRE and sham groups in terms of quality of life, ability to detect vibration or the speed of impulses along nerves. They noted that where there were improvements in patients’ foot conditions, those that had received sham treatment improved as much or more as their MIRE-equipped counterparts.

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Source: Diabetes Care

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