Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that impacts more than 5.4 million seniors across America. The disease erases most memories, impacts functioning and eventually leads to death. There is no cure, but the search continues. Many breakthroughs have been made along the way. Today, seniors are often prescribed medications that slow the progression of the disease. Innovations in the way that seniors with Alzheimer’s are cared for have also improved safety and comfort in the home environment.
Recently, the potential for a major breakthrough was unlocked. It included a discovery that simple visual stimulation may hold unique benefits for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
LED Light Research
Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have been studying the use of LED lights flickering at a specific frequency on lab mice with Alzheimer’s. Throughout the study, the LED lights induced brain waves known as gamma oscillations. These brain waves appear to have a positive impact by helping to suppress the production of beta amyloid plaques and invigorating cells that help the body to naturally destroy plaques.
The Significance of Impaired Gamma Oscillations Explored
While researchers have long believed that the accumulation of amyloid plaque contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. More recent research has shown that impairments in gamma oscillations might also be present in the brains of seniors with Alzheimer’s. These impairments have been noted in lab mice, especially during patterns of memory that are essential for learning and memory. In the lab, significant improvements were noted simply by exposing the eyes to a strip of lights that had been programmed to flicker at specific frequencies. After treating the mice for an hour a day for seven days, the most notable improvements were discovered.
The Need for Future Research
Researchers admit that more studies are needed. This will help determine if the use of LED lights has the same impact on humans as it does on mice. They are hopeful but remain cautious in stating with any level of confidence that this is the solution many have been searching for. Still, if human brains do react in the same way, this has the potential to be a medical breakthrough. LED lights are very accessible and affordable. This treatment is non-invasive and painless too.
Out of the Box Thinking
Even if LED light therapy does not prove to be a cure for Alzheimer’s, this type of study is beneficial. Out of the box thinking opens new avenues for further research. This may help us to eventually develop a preventative measure or cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Salus Homecare Orange County advocates for continued Alzheimer’s research. We realize it may one day help scientists to unlock secrets behind this disease. We continue to follow studies like this and will share future findings with seniors and families across our community. It is our hopes that Alzheimer’s is one day all but a forgotten memory. In eliminating it, scientists could help seniors across the globe to enjoy longer and more fulfilling lives.
Until a cure for Alzheimer’s is found, our agency continues to offer in home care solutions that empower seniors. Our accredited Alzheimer’s care programs make it possible for many to safely and comfortably age in place. If you would like to explore dementia home care for yourself or a loved one, we are always available. Call us anytime and request a free, no obligation evaluation.