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The Human Brain is Sensitive to Light, Breakthrough Findings From Valkee and the University of Oulu
Date:8/11/2011

HELSINKI and BERGEN, Norway, August 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Valkee (http://valkee.com), inventor of the world's first bright-light headset, and scientists from the University of Oulu will present new findings on human brain's photosensitivity at the Scandinavian Physiology Society Annual Meeting 2011, August 12-14.

Their research localized the OPN3 protein - known as the light-sensitive photoreceptor protein - in all of the 18 evaluated areas of the brain. These brain areas include the core areas of serotonin and melatonin production and storage, which play key roles in mood, sleep and depression. The study shows that the human brain is sensitive to light also outside of the visual system.

"The human brain is broadly photosensitive. The photoreceptor proteins we found are known to take light stimulus and transfer it into neural signals. Channeling light directly to these brain areas via ear canal will generate a response in the photosensitive cells", commented Juuso Nissilä, Valkee co-founder and chief scientific officer.

"The study shows that we have brain cells that react to light when exposed directly. These results are encouraging, especially for bright-light therapy channeled via ear canal direct to brain tissue", summarized professor Seppo Saarela, PhD, head of  the biology department and leading the research at the University of Oulu.

Valkee launched its bright-light headset in August 2010. Being based on cross-functional science in neurology, biology and psychiatry, Valkee is a CE-certified Class II(a) medical device under the EU regulations.

The research paper will be available for download at http://www.valkee.com on Friday, August 12, 2011, after its scientific presentation at noon CET.

About Valkee

The Valkee bright-light headset channels bright light direct to the human brain via ear canals to prevent an
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