Synchronizing one’s brainwaves to ultrasound pulses could reduce the accumulation of abnormal proteins characteristic of the onset of Alzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease affects over 50 million people worldwide and is presently incurable. A viable treatment strategy involves reducing abnormal protein accumulation in the brain with gamma waves. However, studies validating its therapeutic effects using non-focused ultrasound with gamma entrainment are lacking. Now, scientists from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology demonstrate reduced protein accumulation in the brain by synchronizing brain waves to external ultrasound pulses at gamma frequency, opening doors to a non-invasive therapy.With the increase in average life expectancy in many parts of the world, certain age-related diseases have become more common. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), unfortunately, is one of them, being extremely prevalent within aging societies in Japan, Korea, and various European countries. Currently there is no cure or an effective strategy to slow down the progression of AD. As a result, it causes much suffering to patients, families, and caregivers as well as a massive economic burden. Fortunately, a recent study by a team of scientists at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea has just demonstrated that there might be a way to combat AD by using“ultrasound-based gamma entrainment,” a technique that involves syncing up a person’s (or an animal’s) brain waves above 30 Hz (called “gamma waves”) with an external oscillation of a given frequency. The process happens naturally by exposing a subject to a repetitive stimulus, such as sound, light, or mechanical vibrations.Previous studies on mice have shown that gamma entrainment could fight off the formation of β-amyloid plaques and tau protein accumulations—a standard hallmark of the onset of AD. In this recent paper, which was published in Translational Neurodegeneration, the GIST team demonstrated that it is possible to realize gamma entrainment by applying ultrasound pulses at 40 Hz, i.e., in the gamma frequency band, into the brain of an AD-model mice.
Release date: 20 January 2022
Source: GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology)