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AD/PD 2024 | Gamma frequency stimulation as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Diane Chan, MD, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, introduces her work on non-invasive gamma frequency sensory stimulation as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is known for amyloid and tau build-up, along with reduced gamma frequency oscillations (30-80 Hz) in the brain, indicating communication issues between brain regions. Gamma stimulation for AD aims to boost gamma power using light and sound stimulation, having shown promise in reducing amyloid and tau pathology in mouse models. A randomized controlled trial (NCT04042922) assessing the daily use of 40Hz light and sound devices in patients with probable mild AD revealed preserved brain volume, improved memory, and stabilized sleep circadian rhythms. There was subsequently an open label extension, where a subgroup of participants continued to use the device daily for 30 months. Results showed stabilized cognition and circadian rhythmicity, as well as preserved brain volume. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, patients showed surprising cognitive stability, offering hope for future studies of non-invasive gamma frequency stimulation. This interview took place at the AD/PD™ 2024 congress in Lisbon, Portugal.

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