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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Therapy With a Shot of Radiation

MTBoris Kershengolts treating a patient with radioactive waves in Yakutsk.
YAKUTSK, Sakha Republic -- While Boris Kershengolts waits for money to mass-produce his potions, he stands to secure a $1 million grant to treat alcoholics with electromagnetic radiation.

The treatment consists of a metal pen-like device that issues low electromagnetic radioactive waves being held close to a patient's head. The waves affect areas of the brain associated with addictions and stress.

The treatment, known as EMAT therapy, was patented by Moscow drug therapist Yulia Yatsenko in the early 1990s and has been used to treat thousands of patients, Yatsenko said.

U.S. authorities granted Yatsenko an extraordinary ability residence permit in the mid-1990s due to her work, she said.

Kershengolts has treated more than 250 people since July 2005, and he put the cure rate at 90 percent for addicts and 100 percent for people with stress disorders.

He said the results led him to believe that alcoholism could be cured for good.

"For the first time we can say that it can be cured," said Kershengolts, the chief researcher with the Institute for the Biological Studies of the Cryolite Zone.

People who have undergone the treatment call it impressive. Alexander Shepel, 30, a Yakutsk construction worker, said he had lost all desire to binge drink after three sessions.

Shepel said he started the treatment in June and only felt the urge to drink months later, on the six-month anniversary of his brother's death. He downed a shot of vodka and promptly vomited.

Shepel said two of his friends were now keen to undergo the treatment.

Vladimir Nebrat, a Novosibirsk-based physicist who invented the pen-like device and now works with Kershengolts, complained that no one seemed interested in promoting the treatment except the patients themselves.

Some help is expected from abroad soon. A Los Angeles-based fund, the International Foundation Apollo-Union, plans to give Kershengolts and his team around $1 million to develop and expand research into the treatment, said Konstantin Postnikov, a physicist and member of the fund's board.

"We want doctors to come and teach their colleagues here," Postnikov said by telephone from Los Angeles.

The fund was set up by U.S. residents of Russian origin in 2005 to promote Russia-linked projects.

Kershengolts said the money would be used to set up new treatment offices in five cities across the country.

"Why shouldn't we cure Russian people with American money?" he added with a smile.