MIT Visual Stimulation Reduces Beta Amyloid Plaques

 Brain cells called microglia (green) stained for lba1, a microglia marker (Photo Credit: Hannah Iaccarino, Anthony Martorell)

Brain cells called microglia (green) stained for lba1, a microglia marker (Photo Credit: Hannah Iaccarino, Anthony Martorell)

This is remarkable and hopeful news from Li-Huei Tsai, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience, director of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and senior author of the study, which appears in the Dec. 7 online edition of Nature.

RadioLab writes about the study, "Today, a startling new discovery: prodding the brain with light, a group of scientists got an unexpected surprise -- they were able to turn back on a part of the brain that had been shut down by Alzheimer’s disease. This new science is not a cure, and is far from a treatment, but it’s a finding so … simple, you won’t be able to shake it."

Here is a link to RadioLab's piece on the study:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/bringing-gamma-back/

From MIT: “It’s a big ‘if,’ because so many things have been shown to work in mice, only to fail in humans,” Tsai says. “But if humans behave similarly to mice in response to this treatment, I would say the potential is just enormous, because it’s so noninvasive, and it’s so accessible.”

http://news.mit.edu/2016/visual-stimulation-treatment-alzheimer-1207