New data expands on the benefits of gamma wave therapy previously reported in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers led by MIT scientist Li-Huei Tsai concludes that sound can entrain gamma oscillations in both the auditory cortex and hippocampus. This, they say, triggers microglia to scarf down plaques and improves spatial and recognition memory. Adding a flickering light stimulus at the same time extended the waves’ reach into brain areas beyond the sensory cortices, inducing oscillations in the medial prefrontal cortex and reducing plaques across the brain. The results appeared online March 14 in Cell.
Two years ago, Tsai and colleagues stunned the field when they reported that simply flashing a 40-Hz light at mice for an hour a day for a week reduced Aβ production and spurred microglia to chew up plaques in the visual cortex (Dec 2016 news). They called this technique GENUS, short for gamma entrainment using sensory stimulus. The noninvasive treatment got its start when graduate student Hannah Iaccarino wondered what would happen if she restored the brain’s gamma waves, which wane in both AD mouse models and in people with the disease. In the current paper, the authors tested whether sound could induce the same gamma waves. Would auditory GENUS affect amyloid and microglia in the same way, and would this benefit memory?
Source: Alzforum | 15 March 2019