Science

Promising New Science for Alzheimer's Disease Patients

In Alzheimer’s Disease mice models it has been observed that 40 Hz stroboscopic light can reduce the amount of Amyloid beta (Aβ) and Tau protein in the brain, one of the hypothesized causes for Alzheimer’s Disease

Our approach

Optoceutics develops a masked 40 Hz light that removes the stroboscopic light from normal stroboscopic 40 Hz light while it retains the stimulation effect on the brain.

However the potential for treatment and prevention of human diseases has not yet been investigated.

Background

The neuronal changes resulting from Alzheimer’s Disease are associated with the disruption of neural gamma oscillations (20-50 Hz) required for typical cognitive functioning [1].

Recent studies found that exposure to 40 Hz stroboscopic light corrects aberrant gamma oscillations and reduces Aβ and Tau protein accumulation in multiple Alzheimer’s Disease mice models [2,3].

Additionally, the exposure to 40 Hz stroboscopic light therapy, for one hour a day, resulted in neuroprotective effects, and improved cognition and memory in the same mice models [4,5].

Follow-up studies in mice have found that visual stimulation at 40 Hz induces important neuroimmune signaling. Mice exposed to 40 Hz light for 1 hour had increased expression of cytokines (proteins important for cell signaling) and indirectly impacted the activity of neuronal microglial cells (important immune defence cells)[6].

Hence, 40 Hz stroboscopic light therapy has considerable potential for treatment in humans.

Our Technology

Instead of using fatigue-inducing stroboscopic light (i.e. on-off), Optoceutics have devised a unique, patent-protected method to stimulate the human visual receptors and processing cortex through alternating white light composed of different wavelengths.

The two variants of the white light are formed by different combinations of colored LEDs. When flickering or flashing between the two LED sets, the color fusion together and appears as one, and this results in approximately the same white color. Therefore the light flashing is unnoticed by the eyes, but the brain is still capturing the 40 Hz signal – thus still maintaining the brain- and neurostimulation. 

References

1. J. J. Palop et al., Aberrant excitatory neuronal activity and compensatory remodeling of inhibitory hippocampal circuits in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuron 55, 697-711 (2007)

2. H. F. Iaccarino et al., Gamma frequency entrainment attenuates amyloid load and modifies microglia. Nature 540, 230-+ (2016).

3. Martorell, A. J. et al. Multi-sensory Gamma Stimulation Ameliorates Alzheimer’s-Associated Pathology and Improves Cognition. Cell 177, 256-271.e22 (2019)

4. Adaikkan, C. et al. Gamma Entrainment Binds Higher-Order Brain Regions and Offers Neuroprotection. Neuron 102, 929-943.e8 (2019)

5. Singer, A. C. et al. Noninvasive 40-Hz light flicker to recruit microglia and reduce amyloid beta load. Nat. Protoc. 13, 1850–1868 (2018)

6. Annabelle C. S. et al. “Gamma Visual Stimulation Induces a NeuroimmuneSignaling Profile Distinct from Acute Neuroinflammation” The Journal of Neuroscience, February 5, 2020 40(6):1211–1225 •1211

Get some answers

The study of 40 Hz light therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease appeared in the journal Nature in 2016 entitled Gamma frequency entrainment attenuates amyloid loading and alters microglia.

Be aware that although the experiments showed positive results on amyloid beta and cognitive ability, it is still only detected in mice.

Amyloid beta (sometimes called beta-amyloid or β-amyloid or Aβ) is a neural peptide or amino acid that has been shown to aggregate or “clump” in Alzheimer’s Disease.

While it is not clear whether amyloid beta is the cause of the disease, a mechanism to combat it, or simply a result of it, there is a strong correlation between the severity of the disease and the amount of amyloid beta in the brain.

For this reason, a huge amount of resources have been spent on developing therapies designed to reduce the accumulation of amyloid beta in the brain. Some of these treatments are currently undergoing clinical trials, including gamma therapy.

The gamma brain frequency is often used in neuroscience and physiology to represent phenomena that occur approximately 40 times per second, or 40 Hertz (Hz).

It is not known why the gamma frequency activates cellular processes, but probably represents a complex phenomenon with both large-scale neuronal networks and subcellular interactions.

Importantly, in the mice study, frequencies outside the gamma range of 40 Hz have been shown not to have the same effect with regard to the clearance of amyloid beta.