A new study suggests that the mere act of flashing lights in the eyes of patients with Alzheimer's could potentially be used as a treatment for the said disease. Flickering lights has reportedly have the ability to gradually reduce the levels of plaques in the brain, known to be a key marker of the most common form of dementia, which has been the reason why researchers has dubbed the study as a promising new avenue for research.
Strobe Lights For Alzheimer's? What's The Connection?
According to reports released by Daily Mail, in the conditions of patients with Alzheimer's disease, the brain is found to have been disrupted, but the light treatment was found to encourage the brain cells to begin firing normally again. As the normal pattern was resumed, this boosted the natural immune response of the brain.
In conducting their study, researchers at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology had used mice which were exposed to the light for one hour a day for seven days; the effect was dramatic, reducing the amount of amyloid plaque by around 50 per cent. It was found that Amyloid plaque is actually one of the hallmarks of the currently incurable disease, which causes dementia.
On the other hand, The Sun has reported that these mice had however returned to normal within 24 hours, which has in turn, been the reason to cast doubt as to whether the effect is permanent. In one of his statements, lead study lead researcher Dr. Li Huei Tsai has revealed that there are so many things have been shown to work in mice, only to fail in humans. However, Dr. Tsai adds that if humans behave similarly to mice in response to this treatment, he believes that there is an enormous potential for the treatment to be a success.
Ultimately, researchers have highly emphasized that future work will have to investigate whether light therapy can have the same effect in other parts of the brain such as the hippocampus, which is known to be the brain area where memories are being formed and is apparently the most affected region by Alzheimer's.