Researchers Test Flashing Light Therapy for Alzheimer’s

A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently found that flashing light therapy can reduce the amount of beta amyloid in the brain. The study used mice as subjects, but with such promising results, researchers are hoping to move forward and test their theory on people with Alzheimer’s disease.Researchers Test Flashing Light Therapy for Alzheimer's

Learn more about this study and its potential impact on future Alzheimer’s treatment methods.

Flashing Light Therapy for Alzheimer’s

A research team led by Dr. Li-Huei Tsai from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has found that flashing light therapy may reduce the risk of toxic beta amyloid proteins in the brain.

The study used genetically engineered mice that had damage in their brain similar to that of someone living with Alzheimer’s.The study was published in the Nature journal in December 2016.

Researchers flashed light at 40 flashers per second, a barely noticeable flicker for an hour in the presence of the mice. They saw a significant reduction in beta amyloid of the next 12-24 hours in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, the hippocampus, in addition to the part of the brain responsible for vision. Researchers noticed a more significant difference when mice received the therapy every day for a week.

Promising Therapy Demands Further Research

The team is hopeful this non-invasive and painless treatment could have similar results in humans with Alzheimer’s. Dr. Tsai said, “We are optimistic. We  can use a very low intensity, very ambient soft light. You can hardly see the flicker itself.”

Dr. David Reynolds from Alzheimer’s Research UK stated of the study:

“Studies like this are valuable in revealing new processes implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and opening new avenues for further research. While mice used in this study showed some key features of Alzheimer’s, it is always important to follow up these findings in people.”

The team is currently seeking permission from the FDA to continue studies and have set up a commercial company to help develop the technology to be tested.

Would you be willing to take part in flashing light therapy for Alzheimer’s treatment? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the study and why you would or would not participate, in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Holly Larson

    YES a million times, we would be interested in signing up for a study!

  • Amanda N

    We would love to join the study!!

  • Robert

    So, can’t we just set our monitors, smartphones and TVs to 40Hz refresh rates and prevent Alzheimer’s altogether?

    You say I’m wasting my time playing games, I say I’m purging beta amyloids!

  • Right now it is in small closed,human trials. It will probably be a year or so until larger trials are opened up. I have a direct connection to that info. Hang in there, I have Alzheimer’s too.

  • Daniela Cristina

    I think testing on humans is a necessity, only if they find it does not harm you in any way. Testing would be a Hope come true. I would sign my mom up right away!

  • Sue Travis

    I would allow my husband to participate in this research.. no drugs involved… he has been diagnosed with amyloid protein deposits..

  • Boogie Wilkerson

    I have been diagnosed with early onset dementia and I would be apart of a research project.

  • Tom Markes

    I would love for my mother to participate in this study. I read about it back on Dec. 7th, which happens to be Mom’s birthday. If it becomes available, then yes I would get mom out to MIT for this study. Mom is in her first year of diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and still has some good memory functions!

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