Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms

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BrianR
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Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms

Postby BrianR » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:59 pm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 111004.htm
By exposing mice to a unique combination of light and sound, MIT neuroscientists have shown that they can improve cognitive and memory impairments similar to those seen in Alzheimer's patients.

This noninvasive treatment, which works by inducing brain waves known as gamma oscillations, also greatly reduced the number of amyloid plaques found in the brains of these mice. Plaques were cleared in large swaths of the brain, including areas critical for cognitive functions such as learning and memory.

I'm relatively skeptical that this will work as well in humans as in their mouse model, but, who knows ...

The paywalled Cell paper is at:
https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30163-1
Multi-sensory Gamma Stimulation Ameliorates Alzheimer’s-Associated Pathology and Improves Cognition
Published: March 14, 2019
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.02.014
Highlights
  • Auditory gamma entrainment using sensory stimuli (GENUS) boosts hippocampal function
  • GENUS affects microglia, astrocytes, and vasculature in auditory cortex and hippocampus
  • Auditory plus visual GENUS induces microglia clustering around plaques
  • Auditory plus visual GENUS reduces amyloid pathology throughout neocortex
Summary
We previously reported that inducing gamma oscillations with a non-invasive light flicker (gamma entrainment using sensory stimulus or GENUS) impacted pathology in the visual cortex of Alzheimer’s disease mouse models. Here, we designed auditory tone stimulation that drove gamma frequency neural activity in auditory cortex (AC) and hippocampal CA1. Seven days of auditory GENUS improved spatial and recognition memory and reduced amyloid in AC and hippocampus of 5XFAD mice. Changes in activation responses were evident in microglia, astrocytes, and vasculature. Auditory GENUS also reduced phosphorylated tau in the P301S tauopathy model. Furthermore, combined auditory and visual GENUS, but not either alone, produced microglial-clustering responses, and decreased amyloid in medial prefrontal cortex. Whole brain analysis using SHIELD revealed widespread reduction of amyloid plaques throughout neocortex after multi-sensory GENUS. Thus, GENUS can be achieved through multiple sensory modalities with wide-ranging effects across multiple brain areas to improve cognitive function.

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aphorist
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Re: Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms

Postby aphorist » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:13 am

The mice were 6-9 months old, which makes me wonder if this would really work in older individiuals. You can see in Figure 5 that there was an improvement in vascular diameter and presumably bloodflow. The LRP1 colocalizing with AB in the same figure, demonstrates that AB is probably being cleared. What I don't get is why Gamma and what is the logic behind this? In a QEEG, they map delta, theta, beta and alpha waves. They don't even look at Gamma waves.

You can hear the sound file they played for the mice on this NY Times article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/heal ... &smtyp=cur

I think I would lose my mind just listening to that for 1 hour.

also FYI:

https://gammalighttherapy.com/

https://www.cognitotx.com/

NF52
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Re: Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms

Postby NF52 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:51 pm

aphorist wrote:The mice were 6-9 months old, which makes me wonder if this would really work in older individiuals. You can see in Figure 5 that there was an improvement in vascular diameter and presumably bloodflow. The LRP1 colocalizing with AB in the same figure, demonstrates that AB is probably being cleared. What I don't get is why Gamma and what is the logic behind this?
...
I think I would lose my mind just listening to that for 1 hour....

Thanks for sharing the link, aphorist. I got through about 10 seconds of the sound, which made my tinnitus seem like a gift by comparison. Looks like they decided not to torture people:
Dr. Tsai’s team has tested light and sound on healthy people, using a four-by-three-foot light panel and high-quality stereo speakers, “so the sound is more tolerable to humans, because it’s not melody, it’s clicks,” she said. Electroencephalogram measurements show the desired gamma-wave effect, she said, and “nobody complains about any discomfort or headache or anything.”


And this might explain the focus on gamma waves, from a February 2018 article on Tsai's research in Nature:
...the highest frequency are gamma waves, which range from 25 to 140 hertz. People often show a lot of this kind of activity when they are at peak concentration...People with Alzheimer’s disease show a reduction in gamma oscillations. So Tsai and others wondered whether gamma-wave activity could be restored, and whether this would have any effect on the disease.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02391-6 The same article mentions that people with Parkinson's seem to get "stuck" on beta waves, so current treatment of Parkinson's through deep-brain stimulation and levodopa may be reducing beta waves.

As for the age of the mice, the Nature article addressed that also:
To achieve a longer-lasting effect on animals with amyloid plaques, they repeated the experiment for an hour a day over the course of a week, this time using older mice in which plaques had begun to form. Twenty-four hours after the end of the experiment, these animals showed a 67% reduction in plaque in the visual cortex compared with controls. The team also found that the technique reduced tau protein, another hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Since these are all genetically engineered mice designed to get AD in a reasonable "window" of research time, 6-9 months may be "advanced old age" for them.

Sounds like a basic and early-stage clinical research focus ready for lots of new post-docs to start working on!
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Re: Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms

Postby mike » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:36 pm

Do they have a clue how the AB is getting cleared? And also the tau, which may prove to be more important? These are normal brain rhythms, but could it be causing some kind of actual physical vibration breaking these up so they can more easily fit down the drain?
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Re: Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms

Postby BrianR » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:18 pm

mike wrote:Do they have a clue how the AB is getting cleared? And also the tau, which may prove to be more important? These are normal brain rhythms, but could it be causing some kind of actual physical vibration breaking these up so they can more easily fit down the drain?

They cite three mechanisms for Aβ clearing: "Our results indicating increased Aβ-uptake by microglia, vascular-dilation response, and potential amyloid transvascular transport all suggest an enhancement in Aβ clearance by auditory GENUS through multiple mechanisms."

There's less attention to tau, but they state: "Overall, our results show that auditory GENUS can reduce the levels of hyperphosphorylated tau epitopes and seeding in a tauopathy mouse model"


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