Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Light-based therapy for Alzheimer’s disease

Light-based therapy for Alzheimer’s disease

There are currently
no effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. As lifespans increase
and our population ages, Alzheimer’s represents a
looming public health problem of immense proportions. One that is also personal. One in three adults
in the United States will die from Alzheimer’s,
or age-related dementia, touching almost everyone as
a patient or a caregiver. There are now 46 million
people with Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. The total societal costs
associated with dementia will reach $2 trillion by 2030. Alzheimer’s expenses are the
greatest direct health care costs to the United
States economy– greater than cancer
and heart disease. New approaches to treat and
reverse Alzheimer’s disease are needed. Recent studies suggest that
Alzheimer’s disease disrupts brain signaling and how
neurons synchronize. This specific type of
neuron synchrony altered in Alzheimer’s disease is
called the gamma rhythm. Sensory information
from our environment is critical to how the brain
synchronizes and communicates, which aids in our ability to
remember loved ones names, recall what we did last
week, and to pay attention to where we put our car keys. Altered gamma rhythms
in Alzheimer’s disease are due in part to
the toxic accumulation of a snipped protein called
amyloid beta, resulting in fewer neurons
firing in synchrony. Research from the lab
of Director Li-Huei Tsai of the Picower Institute
for Learning and Memory at MIT has sought to understand how
Alzheimer’s disease affects gamma rhythms in the
brain, under the premise that abnormal neuronal firing
populations play a key role in the symptoms of the disease. First, Dr Tsai’s
team established that the gamma rhythm
amplitude at the 40 Hertz range was reduced in mice with
Alzheimer’s disease, called 5XFAD mice. More specifically,
the gamma rhythm was significantly
decreased in a brain region crucial for learning
and memory– the hippocampus. The diminished gamma
rhythm in 5XFAD mice occurred with the accumulation
of amyloid beta, which eventually becomes toxic and
results in neuronal death and memory loss. Next, researchers in her
lab used optogenetics to artificially correct the
gamma rhythm in the hippocampus of 5XFAD Alzheimer’s mice. By stimulating neurons
in the 40 Hertz range at the optimal gamma
rhythm amplitude, Dr Tsai’s lab showed
that amyloid beta levels were cut nearly in half. Dr Tsai’s discovered that the
40 Hertz optogenetic stimulation to correct the gamma
rhythm in Alzheimer’s mice activated genes in brain
cells called microglia. Microglia are part of
the brain’s immune system and function in part to ingest
or clear away microorganisms that might cause disease. Optogenetic stimulation
at the 40 Hertz range activated
microglia to promote the clearance of amyloid beta. To create an effective
treatment in humans with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s
ideal to invent a non-invasive technique. To this end, Li-Huei
Tsai and her team created a sensory
paradigm that uses flickering light to
restore the gamma rhythm and to reduce the
levels of amyloid beta. 5XFAD Alzheimer’s mice were
exposed to 40 Hertz flickering light, which caused enhanced
gamma rhythm neuronal activity and reduced amyloid
beta levels by over 50% in the visual cortex. In addition, the 40 Hertz
flickering light treatment caused microglia in Alzheimer’s
mice to become more active and dramatically increase in
size by engulfing amyloid beta. When the gamma flickering
light treatment was used in older
Alzheimer’s mice with toxic levels of
amyloid beta, which results in aggregates called
plaques, the plaques decreased. However, for the plaque
levels to remain low, the flickering
light treatment had to be given over several
days versus hours. This unique,
non-invasive approach might lead to the
development of treatments that can affect
the disease without the current pharmacological
challenges of the blood brain barrier, or unexpected
drug interactions. This technique is a
big step in finding new and effective treatments
for Alzheimer’s disease that one day may
halt and reverse the symptoms of a disease
that impacts so many of us.

64 thoughts on “Light-based therapy for Alzheimer’s disease

  1. … isn't the main problem telomeres as well?
    that's soooooo coool!!!!!!!
    Is it possible to harvest microgliya then?
    Maybe we can create lenses that that do those flashes…
    But as it's for elderly and lenses may not be the greatest idea…

  2. Thank you for your work. I hope you are well funded. I'd sit in front of blinking lights for 5 days to reverse or even prevent Alzheimer’s. Thanks again!

  3. I love MIT. You can just try and create everything. They let you do whatever you want. You just have to deliver results. It's such an awesome university.

  4. overpopulation is the biggest threat humanity faces no matter how healthy people are. A planet that can only sustain 4 billion now has 9 billion and growing.

  5. The AC power frequency in most countries is 50 or 60hz, which means that a lot of our existing lights already flicker at these frequencies.

    What if we all just reduced our AC frequency to 40hz?

  6. Does this work naturally, or does it requires genetically modified neurons that react to light? And does it work thru the eye?

  7. The people with Alzheimer's are nutrient deficient, why don't we just get them to eat some healthy fats and vitamins and minerals instead? Their just needing some coconut oil, maybe some hemp and flax oil and a few extra vitamins and minerals and lots of nice butter and meat. Need to make sure they are not on some sort of fat uptake altering chemical medication too.

    I'm still confused as to how someone can die of Alzheimer's? What do they forget to eat or something?

  8. This seems interesting, though wouldn't it be better to prevent Alzheimer's in the first place?
    The main cause of Alzheimer's is the foods we eat. The only diet that has been scientifically proven to prevent Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases is a whole food plant based diet, without the oils and saturated fats that clog our arteries and form those plaques.
    WFPB diet includes: Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, mushrooms.

    Dr. Michael Greger
    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
    PhD T Colin Campbell (worked at MIT)
    Dr. John McDougall
    Dr. Joel Fuhrman

  9. I've heard that audio signals induce similar results for Alzheimer's disease. During sleep, you hear audio clicks which stimulate Neuron cells to produce gamma waves synchronously and to increase the amplitude of the waves.
    That might be an even more comfortable way to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

  10. Dr. Wallach says it's a Dr. caused disease. Caused by anti cholesterol meds. he's taken the FDA to court and won 5 times. just sayin

  11. I personally do not understand what is so special about 40Hz? Over 30 it
    is becoming just the same as white light… U have tried it on my rats ,
    3 years ago, in the range 1-20 Hz… they did not close eyes and
    seemingly did not react at all even after 24h of constant expose. Human
    would go really nuts in the same experiment.. Even 20 min session in the
    Womb is already a lot of exercise for the brain, in combination with
    Dadain-Wombaine it is going to be pretty serious depletion of energy in
    neurons that may trigger generalized reparation process. Brain Re-Birth.

    my gadget is not sometbing to put on rats.. It would be
    interesting to compare with 40Hz light stimulation.

  12. Why not have human testing with this by having an app on your phone. put the phone in a VR headset and it's pre set to one hour then boom you're done. It's a therapy that can be done by anyone

  13. thats not strictly true, there is a drug that can be taken that will stop the progression if taken early on

    Also medical cannabis

  14. Just as cancer is induced voa compulsory vaccination, Alzheimers is another by-products of mercury/aluminium poisoning. Exacerbated via wifi and overload of toxic frequency electricity interfering with brain function and cellular integrity. Makes plenty of money whilst genocide is being executed: silent weapons for quiet wars. Not to mention the chemclouds.

  15. Vivisection is the greatest evil and leads to endless human suffering. Do the ends justify the means, or are the means the ends?

  16. You can produce a 40 hz stim using an AVE (audio-visual entrainment) device, or mind machine, rather easily. It comes with a pair of light glasses and headphones (I wonder if auditory stim of 40hz will help, too). Even a cheap AVE device ($100) will produce light stimulation from 1-42 hz. Most have a manual setting so you can dial up 40 hz, put the light glasses on and enjoy.

  17. Good work MIT and Picower Institute. Keep researching and fighting the good fight, you're appreciated by many including me.

  18. Food for thought: a similar beneficial effect can probably be achieved by having the LEDs flicker in peripheral vision as opposed to staring directly at it. The effectiveness may be reduced, but the treatment would be less prone to extreme boredom if it could be left on in a room while a human is free to do other things. If the brain is still stimulated at a beneficial frequency that seems key. From reading other comments, it's interesting to learn a DIY solution could be made for under $50 using the same LEDs used in the study ($9 on eBay) and an Arduino Uno to time the flash frequency.

  19. There's a lot more to be learned here, and that the external light only influences visual cortex means that this can't be a question only of model (human vs. mouse). If you're thinking about flickering your own LEDs at 40 Hz you can easily modify a simple LED dimmer using this tutorial:

  20. Hi all i have this medical device using light therapy with fda certification which can help you heal 80 diseases.. including high bp, stroke, diabetes, eczema, obesity, wrinkles.. get this acupunture watch now 😊 it keeps you younger just by wearing it 1 day once!! Its a miracle watch pm me at [email protected] for more details. fb page:

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  22. Cymatrax believes its software can be used to treat Alzheimer's. The CDC reports that 85% of all disease is caused by stress. The Cymatrax software can be modified to address specific frequencies of all audio files to promote health.

  23. my mom worked with people with Alzheimer's and she said one of the patients was a young person and he was around 20

  24. My wife has been the first in a MIT Boston Alzheimer’s 40 hertz light, audio, touch trial for 7 months. The trials were moved to Boston from San Francisco last week. The SF startup failed to enroll enough people in trials The 40 hertz treatment worked for my wife and all the other 10 participants. I am looking for a battery operated 40 hertz led light. 40 hertz audio is all over the internet by , new age, religious , secular utubes making 40 hertz audios are availble. 40 hertz video is not reliable because of analog/digital issues. The start up says it is unable to help me get the very inexpensive battery light controller for led lights. It is not a cure but the treatment mitigates the process of plaque destruction. Gives the patient a euphoric response and keeps them from going into rest homes…, 1,000,000,000 not going to rest homes for one year and will save US about 60 billion and Canadians about 10 billion every year, Some techies have posted an electric diagram but to do a devise you would need Tesla's help. MIT does not own 40 hertz anymore than GM owns 40MPH. A cheap controller can help 5million dementia sufferers and their families and we cannot wait for MIT and the US FOOD and Drug Admin. to get off their bureaucratic asses. .

  25. How Does Our Brain Work and How Can We Treat Alzheimer's Disease?
    Our brain merely moves our consciousness back and forth thru time and televises the image of the past event that is occurring this very moment…Since the past, present, and future are all occurring simultaneously. So the brain is not storing information, but rather producing an image occurring in some element of time (past, present, or even future i.e. Psychics; Deja Vu),much like televisions of old, received transmitted signals from television stations. Hence, our brains are chronovisors… An artificial chronovisor is known to be located in the Vatican capable of televising the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in real time. Furthermore, the Chronovisor is stated to be capable of producing images in the future.
    So, Alzheimer's Disease occurs when the brain loses its capacity to shift consciousness back and forth thru time and subsequently remains locked in the present. But to fully understand Alzheimer's disease, let's use another analogy. Imagine a radio that has excellent reception, particularly when its antenna is fully extended. Now again, imagine dipping this same radio antenna in plaster. Once the plaster hardens on the radio antenna, the radio reception, subsequently, becomes very poor. Memories are Not With in…. They are With out. Alzheimer's disease diagnostically has neurofibrallary tangles and amyloid plaques on the brain's cerebral cortex. Hence, Alzheimer's disease is equivalent to dipping the antenna, ie brain, in plaster and thus destroying the brain's reception capacity. Occasionally, a frequency may get pass the amyloid plaques and neurofibrallary tangles, particularly if enough energy or stimulation is applied.
    Hence, the treatment for Alzheimer's disease that will invariably develop, will be a prosthetic device or electrode head cap that will allow a bypass of the diseased cerebral cortex which contain neurofibrallary tangles and amyloid plaques. Furthermore, this head cap will also have electrodes leading to the interior of the brain. Upon electrical stimulation, memory will be substantially improved. Despite the ultimate cure for Alzheimer's disease being the resolution and removal of neurofibrallary tangles and amyloid plaques, the proposed electrical cerebral prosthetic device will potentially slow the Alzheimer's disease process and substantially improve patient memory leading to a significant improvement of quality of life.
    Dr. Robert E. Rainer, MD

  26. The DAVID Delight Pro Light and sound therapy device offers 40hz light stimulation. The results are very promising. The device can be programmed to stimulate Light, Sound and CES at 40hz. The DAVID Delight pro can be ordered from Amazon. after ordering send a message to the seller to request for Gamma 40hz upgrade. They will program it for free!

  27. Totally Awesome…… but sadly this and the many researches of this Alzheimers disease will never make it to the mainstream public. SIMPLY PUT. BIG PHARMA,FDA, and the involving agencies will not allow breakthroughs if they cannot control of cap the cures. Big Pharma means BIG MONEY for the ''medications'' and worthless false hopes treatments.

  28. 40hz, but at what wavelength and irradiance? The animation shows what appears to be white light in use, with the rat subject. But, the effective range for hippocampal stimulation has been indicated to be near-infrared, between about 700nm and 880nm wavelength and with varying irradiance. Most effective of all is delivery via intranasal devices, which can shine NIR light up the nasal passage and into the hippocampus from beneath the brain, which is not reached by transcranial devices shining light through the thicker areas of the skull to treat other regions of the brain.

  29. Aluminum breaks through the blood brain barrier, then is absorbed by the fatty tissue. They spray heavy metals across our planet everyday, to protect us from global warming. Aluminum poisoning causes Alzheimer’s. And the geoengineering caused the planet to warm

  30. Great video. I've been finding lots of information about light therapy for Alzheimer's disease, like this: Very interesting!

  31. I wish this reaches to doctors and surgeons throughout the world. Sadly, it still hasn't . If I knew about this treatment earlier, my grandfather would have been sustained.

  32. The therapy has been around since 1920s Book let there be light by Darius Dinshah. Dr Jacob Lieberman book light medicine of the future. Everything is energy and frequencies.

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