LED Lights Flickering Could Treat Alzheimer’s

Posted: Dec 8 2016, 9:43am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

LED Lights Flickering Could Treat Alzheimer’s
  • Unique visual stimulation may be new treatment for Alzheimer’s
 

A series of singular devices such as flickering LEDs may help ward off Alzheimer’s Disease.

LED lights that flicker at certain frequencies may hold the cure for Alzheimer’s. MIT scientists have found out that these LEDs that turn on and off in succession can reduce beta amyloid plaques. At least, the experiment has been a success in mice in the lab.

Brain waves that are basically gamma oscillations are produced by this course of action. They help the brain cut down on beta amyloid generation. Also cells that destroy these harmful plaques are activated via this method. 

Further research is needed before this experiment and its results could be ascertained to be a means of suppressing Alzheimer’s. The whole thing is doubtful since what works in mice may not work in human beings. It is a sort of quantum leap from rodents to homo sapiens.

Yet if human beings are shown to behave in the same manner in the future, the scientists may be on to something here. In fact, the potential value of this experiment would be great indeed since it is both non-interventionist in its nature and easily available.   

The pursuit of such tests in humans is a long shot but it will get accomplished one fine day in the future. This may just trigger a breakthrough in the treatment and management of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s is a very nasty affliction that leaves an elderly person an empty shell of his or her former self. It has become very common in recent times.

Also the family members who surround that individual tend to suffer due to the behavioral changes the Alzheimer’s patient undergoes with the passage of time.

Millions of senescent people suffer from this “forgetfulness malady” each year. With this novel means of treatment, it is hoped that it will be better managed and maybe even reversed. 

The plaques that build up in the brain interfere with the functioning of this most marvelous organ of creation. The brain waves of Alzheimer’s patients are impaired too.

Optogenetics was used to reverse Alzheimer’s in mice which had been genetically mutated to contract the disease. An hour of stimulation by LEDs at a frequency of 40 hertz caused a 40% to 50% reduction in the symptoms.

Stimulation at other frequencies did not have the same effect. All that is needed is strips of LEDs that flicker at various intervals. Yet there is still a snag.

The plaques resume their build-up when the treatment is curtailed. The bottom line is that more research needs to be done before this technique could be refined and honed to better prevent Alzheimer’s.

Researchers in Li-Huei Tsai's laboratory at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have shown that disrupted gamma waves in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease can be corrected by a unique non-invasive technique using flickering light.

Video: The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory

This study appeared in the Dec. 7 online edition of Nature.

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