Pain in Treating Alzheimer's Disease?
Can regular healing of sounds and light signals help alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease? The American research team has found in the study that day-stimulation of sensations with light impulses and sounds improves memory and contributes to a significant reduction in so-called amyloid plaques.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists have found in their current research that day-to-day sensory stimulation with light and sound can alleviate Alzheimer's symptoms and thereby reduce memory degradation. Doctors published the results of their research in the magazine "Cell" in English.
What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world. In Germany, about 1.3 million people suffer from this illness. Alzheimer's disease destroys our brain cells, which is associated with increasing memory loss. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for the disease and doctors can only slow down the course. There are currently several studies and clinical trials that are investigating about thirty new drugs against Alzheimer's disease.
Studies have shown positive effects of 40-horn flashes
A few years ago, experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) noted that stimulating the senses with special light stimuli in Alzheimer's mice reduces some symptoms of the disease. Exposure to 40-Hertz flash mice was associated with the reduction of existing amyloid plaques in the visual center. Not only can Alzheimer's disease affect the visual center, but also other parts of the brain, such as brain centers, which are very important for learning, memory and other functions of higher opinion (eg Hypocampus and Media Prefrontal cortex mPFC). It is therefore important that stimulation also affects these parts of the brain, experts say.
The effects of acoustic stimulation
Scientists first tested the effects of acoustic stimulation on mice. Animals suffering from Alzheimer's disease in early stages are exposed to short tones of 40 hrs per hour per day for one hour. This has led to noticeable changes after just one week: there has been a clear improvement in the function of memory, in addition, stimulation also seemed to have a positive effect on the brain. This has been demonstrated, for example, by the fact that mice treated with sensory stimulation could better remember the position of a submerged platform in the pool compared to untreated mice. In addition, treated mice better recognize previously seen objects.
A very clear change is also apparent in brain mice. With one week of stimulation of tons, the amount of plaque and beta-amyloid in the auditory center and the hippocampus decreased by 40 to 50 percent. This suggests that acoustic stimulation can reduce the amyloid load even outside the primary sensory cortex. Other positive effects were that certain immune cells (microglia) increased by 60 percent through sound stimulation. Microgram may degrade amyloid plaques. Vein spread by 50 to 100 percent also allowed for improved circulation in the hippocampus and the auditory center of the experimental animals.
Combined treatment has led to impressive success
The results were even more impressive when the tone stimulation was combined with the light flashes already studied. "If we combine visual and auditory stimulation for a week, we see prolongation of positive effects on prefrontal cortex and a dramatic reduction in amyloid," said author of the Li-Huei Tsai study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Such combined sensory stimulation could be a promising approach to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease in the future. This form of sensory stimulation affects different types of brain cells and different brain areas. "We have here shown that we can use a completely different sensory modality to induce gamma oscillation in the brain. This gamma-induced gamma-gamma can reduce amyloid and tau pathology not only in the sensory cortex but also in the hippocampus," continues the research author Tsai.
What causes stimulation in the brain?
Stimulation is likely to stimulate the production of certain brain waves, called gamma oscillations. It seems that these waves cause positive effects. Unfortunately, the stimulation effect does not last very long. When daily treatment stops, the amount of plaque also begins to grow again. It is therefore important to carry out regular and permanent therapy of pejsing.
Further research is needed
Further research now needs to detect whether combined light and sound stimulation is effective in humans. Efforts have been made to stimulate therapy on healthy volunteers in humans in order to confirm the general tolerability of treatment. The next step would now be tests on volunteers with Alzheimer's disease. Volunteers are already looking for participation. (As)