Over the past few years, breakthroughs have offered new hope for delaying the onset of Alzheimer's Disease
40 hz Light and Sound
In March 2015, Dr. Li-Huei Tsai, a neuroscientist at MIT discovered that 40hz or gamma light reduced the levels of beta amyloid plaques in the brains of mice that are genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms. In that study, the researchers used light flickering at 40 hertz, delivered for one hour a day. The treatment reduced levels of beta amyloid plaques as well as another Alzheimer’s-related pathogenic marker, phosphorylated tau protein. The treatment stimulated the immune cells known as microglia which are responsible for clearing debris from the brain. In a subsequent study, Dr. Tsai discovered that 40 hertz tones dramatically reduced the amount of beta amyloid plaque in the auditory cortex, as well the hippocampus.
A number of studies are testing the effectiveness of 40 hertz light and sound on humans.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
In 2019, Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Dr. Edward Fogarty, Chairman of Radiology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, report the first PET scan-documented case of improvement in brain metabolism in Alzheimer's disease in a patient treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). The authors report the case of a 58-year-old female who had experienced five years of cognitive decline, which began accelerating rapidly. The patient underwent a total of 40 HBOT treatments -- five days a week over 66 days. After 21 treatments, the patient reported increased energy and level of activity, better mood and ability to perform daily living activities as well as work crossword puzzles. After 40 treatments, she reported increased memory and concentration, sleep, conversation, appetite, ability to use the computer, more good days (5/7) than bad days, resolved anxiety, and decreased disorientation and frustration. Tremor, deep knee bend, tandem gain, and motor speed were also improved.
In 2017, a research team led by Dr. Kim Innes of the West Virginia University School of Public Health found that adults improved their memory and cognition after doing Kirtan Kriya, a form of meditation, or a music listening program for 12 weeks. In the study, sixty older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), a condition that may represent a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, participated in the randomized, controlled study. Both the meditation and music groups showed marked and significant improvements in subjective memory function and objective cognitive performance at three months. These included attention, executive function, processing speed, and subjective memory function – among the areas most likely to be affected in preclinical and early stages of dementia.