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posted by hubie on Monday March 04, @01:37PM   Printer-friendly

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-02-40hz-sensory-gamma-rhythm-amyloid.html

Studies at MIT and elsewhere are producing mounting evidence that light flickering and sound clicking at the gamma brain rhythm frequency of 40 Hz can reduce Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression and treat symptoms in human volunteers as well as lab mice.

In a new study in Nature using a mouse model of the disease, researchers at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory of MIT reveal a key mechanism that may contribute to these beneficial effects: clearance of amyloid proteins, a hallmark of AD pathology, via the brain's glymphatic system, a recently discovered "plumbing" network parallel to the brain's blood vessels.

"Ever since we published our first results in 2016, people have asked me how does it work? Why 40 Hz? Why not some other frequency?" said study senior author Li-Huei Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of The Picower Institute and MIT's Aging Brain Initiative.

"These are indeed very important questions we have worked very hard in the lab to address."

The new paper describes a series of experiments, led by Mitch Murdock when he was a Brain and Cognitive Sciences doctoral student at MIT, showing that when sensory gamma stimulation increases 40 Hz power and synchrony in the brains of mice, that prompts a particular type of neuron to release peptides.

The study results further suggest that those short protein signals then drive specific processes that promote increased amyloid clearance via the glymphatic system.

"We do not yet have a linear map of the exact sequence of events that occurs," said Murdock, who was jointly supervised by Tsai and co-author and collaborator Ed Boyden, Y. Eva Tan Professor of Neurotechnology at MIT, a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and an affiliate member of The Picower Institute. "But the findings in our experiments support this clearance pathway through the major glymphatic routes."

Journal Reference:
Li-Huei Tsai, Multisensory gamma stimulation promotes glymphatic clearance of amyloid, Nature (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-024-07132-6.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday March 04, @06:35PM (6 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday March 04, @06:35PM (#1347312)

    A lot of loudspeakers, and even amplifiers, on the consumer market don't really carry much below 60Hz, or even 100Hz, though of course "audiophile" equipment will always at least claim to span down to 20Hz.

    We developed a device that needed high amplitude 2-10Hz drive for a linear motor with 6" throw... it's not rocket surgery, but it is _very_ specialized equipment, and for a one-off need we decided that a purchase of a $20K off the shelf amplifier / actuator was a hell of a lot more efficient than learning to roll our own. That system "drove" a linear motion bed which did all kinds of interesting things with pulsatile blood flow stimulating the release of endogenous mediators from vessel walls, a lot of Nitric Oxide and other things in beneficial therapeutic levels - the same kind of thing happens naturally with runners / joggers, but not everybody can get out and jog energetically for 20 minutes 3 times a week.

    Point (if there is one) being: the significant clinical effects of that system kicked in just above the amplitude at which a subject lying on a simple mattress would have the mattress start to slide back and forth underneath them while they stayed relatively motionless. To get the beneficial effects the subject had to be securely attached (we used boots bolted to a footboard) to the moving platform - otherwise the effects were minimal to unobservable.

    I suspect the "therapeutic dosage" of this 40Hz stimulation is going to be similarly found in unusual exposures, much higher than one would usually encounter in normal life.

    Also: high intensity 40Hz light and sound exposure is probably contra-indicated for co-morbid photosensitive epilepsy, particularly if it's "square wave" in nature.

    --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @09:28PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @09:28PM (#1347361)

      Sounds (sorry, pun) like you bought a shaker that was originally designed for fatigue testing?
      While a little messier, it's usually cheaper to go hydraulic for that kind of stroke and high loads, using a electro-hydraulic servo valve (as invented by Moog c. 1950) to control the cylinder.

      Anyway, neat findings, I hope things like this come into general use.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Monday March 04, @10:23PM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday March 04, @10:23PM (#1347371)

        >you bought a shaker that was originally designed for fatigue testing?

        Yeah, original application was to look for resonant responses in structures...

        We tried pneumatics, but that was noisy. Didn't go for hydraulics. Eventually ended up with just an electric motor push-pulling, but along the way we made a much more powerful model that worked with counterweights counter-rotating to do the push-pull in one dimension only. Very clean, quiet and smooth - but once we made that more capable model we figured out that we didn't need 10Hz or 0.5g, 2Hz 0.25g was plenty so if you figure for weights up to 200kg of patient mass, that doesn't take much motor to run, I think we settled on 1/2hp.

        >I hope things like this come into general use.

        Me as well, it has a lot of potential to treat acute COVID, but doesn't come in a pill or as a bolt-on accessory to existing products like ventilators, so... not much interest in doing the research out there.

        --
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        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @11:34PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @11:34PM (#1347375)

          Sounds to me like this would be a good laxative

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @12:09AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @12:09AM (#1347380)

            We didn't get reports of that.

            Did restore circulation to circulation deficient organs, nice jaundice clearance in hepatitis. Steadied walking in Parkinson's, dramatic improvement for chronic heart failure symptoms, and remarkably fast clearance of meconium aspiration in animal models of human newborns.

            In other words: all over the place. At the time (2003) coral calcium was a big fad, and it made similar all over the map claims. Thing was, we were treating people and seeing these differences dramatically enough to easily document... Still, we treated a paralyzed subject (legs for 15+ years) who put it this way: "yes, amazing, I haven't seen color like that in my legs for years, but... I have things to do, I can't be coming here three times a week for treatment even if it is free. The device is too big and expensive to find a place in my house for it. It's not likely to restore my leg function... To be honest, after all this time dragging them around I'm thinking of having my legs cut off."

            The CHF patient went back to England for his scheduled open chest surgery...

            It's much easier to sell pills.

            --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @01:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @01:21AM (#1347387)

      when sensory gamma stimulation increases 40 Hz power and synchrony in the brains of mice, that prompts a particular type of neuron to release peptides.

      Does some types of snoring trigger it too?

      Maybe snoring actually has some useful purpose (other than maybe scaring away some potential predators).

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by pdfernhout on Tuesday March 05, @03:19PM

      by pdfernhout (5984) on Tuesday March 05, @03:19PM (#1347460) Homepage

      According to the book "Why We Sleep", in a certain phase of sleep, Walker said the frequencies of slower brain waves cause channels in the brain to expand to drain off toxins. Essentially, the brain is overclocked during the day for survival and then does its housekeeping during downtime. The nightly housekeeping involves both removing metabolic wastes that build up during the day and also recording the day's memories into long term storage. Miss a good night's sleep and wastes pile up and many memories of the day are lost.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_We_Sleep [wikipedia.org]

      --
      The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Tuesday March 05, @05:02AM (1 child)

    by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday March 05, @05:02AM (#1347405)

    I seem to recall reading something on SN about 6 months ago that stated that amyloid plaques were found to be a symptom of Alzheimers rather than the cause, and that clearing them (via chemical means at the time I think) was a waste of time.

    Hopefully these researchers are across that work?

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday March 05, @07:02AM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 05, @07:02AM (#1347413) Journal

      It was more recent [soylentnews.org] than that, although there may have been earlier reporting that you saw too. The scientific community seem to be looking at both alternatives in their research and thus they both get reported as submissions to this site.

  • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Tuesday March 05, @02:06PM (1 child)

    by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday March 05, @02:06PM (#1347441)

    We need to lower the AC from 60/50 to 40Hz then. All the LEDs will flash and cheap sound bars will hum and we have a cure?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @04:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @04:02PM (#1347469)

      side effect - lowering the AC line frequency will take larger transformers. Invest now in iron & copper mining, refining, metal production and transformer producers!

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