A treatment for:
Jaundice is common in infants, so a Biliblanket can photoisomerize otherwise water-insoluble bilirubin into a soluble form that leaves through the kidneys. Phototherapy for jaundice becomes ineffective as people age. Past puberty, the skin is too thick and blocks light between 450-550 nm, the wavelengths most effective for photoisomerizing bilirubin.

Blood Pathogens
Viruses like HIV circulate in the blood during disease states. Other larger pathogens like bacteria and falciparum malaria also infest the blood during infection. While there are many effective drugs for treating these infections, chemical treatments also have side effects when other cells in the body are exposed to the active agent. One type of therapy that targets blood pathogens more specifically is extracorporeal irradiaiton. Here, blood is withdrawn and treated outside the body as during hemodialysis.

Instead of a semipermeable membrane that removes and replaces desired components through diffusion, a high-intensity lamp irradiates the blood with light of specific wavelengths. This damages the pathogens, so the body can deal with them as inactivated particles. Extracorporeal irradition is often combined with blood filtering or centrifuging to remove the erythrocytes from blood before irradiating blood plasma in a separate fluid circuit.
Adding psoralens to blood before irradiating the filtered component is another way of targeting pathogens. Psoralen binds to DNA, and breaks it apart when irradiated. While pathogens are not removed from blood, their DNA is damaged enough to block reproduction and make it easier for the immune system to do its job.

US patents for psoralen blood treatments:

Seasonal Affective Disorder
Is it that time of year again? Feeling blue? Maybe you just need to lighten up. Viewing more light, especially early in the morning seems to treat the symptoms of lethargy and drained energy that some people feel during the darker months of the year. Lights with a high intensity, above 10,000 lux, are the most effective. While intensity seems to be the critical factor, It's also important for the light to have a color spectrum similar to bright sunlight , so special broad spectrum lamps or LED's power the light boxes.

Jet Lag and Insomnia
Since light regulates circadian rhythm, it can provide some of the same benefits as during SAD treatment.
Curiously, light affected even mice lacking rod and cone cells in their retinas. The mechanism is thought to beganglion cells that still detect light but do not encode color or intensity in normal vision.

Tattoo Removal
Regretting that choice to memorialize your love of Led Zeppelin or a long-gone significant other? Not quite fitting in with the corporate culture during interviews? Maybe it's time to delete some dyes from your dermis. Those looking to erase marks once thought permanent can sign up for laser tattoo removal, which targets the pigments stored underneath the epidermis.

OK, this is another strictly optional cosmetic treatment. Nobody suffered from lower productivity just from the paleness that creeps in when the sun hides for a few months. However, those not dreaming of a White Christmas can climb into tanning booths to keep skin crispy and pigmented during the darker months. While increased vitamin D levels may benefit sun-worshippers, proper nutrition and supplements can also provide this needed vitamin without the cumulative skin damage and at a lower price.

Pho`to*ther"a*py (?), n. (Med.)

The application of light for therapeutic purposes, esp. for treating diseases of the skin. -- Pho`to*the*rap"ic (#), Pho`to*ther`a*peu"tic (#), a.


© Webster 1913

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