Light Flicker ‘Could Prevent Alzheimer’s’ - Energy Watch News

Light Flicker ‘Could Prevent Alzheimer’s’

The study, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, challenges accepted wisdom in the lighting industry that flicker is neurologically problematic and holds out the prospect that artificial light could be tuned to play a preventative role in degenerative diseases. The team of researchers, led by Dr. Li-Huei Tsai, flashed a strobe light near rodents that had brain damage similar to that of Alzheimer’s patients. When the mice were exposed to the light for an hour, protective cells in their brains swallowed up toxic proteins that are correlated with the disease. Dr. Tsai’s study involved using a light that flashes 40 times per second. That’s a slower flicker than standard mains-electricity flicker which is between 100 and 120 Hertz. It’s barely perceptible, yet appears to have dramatic effects. An hour of exposure resulted in a reduction in beta amyloid – the main constituent of the plaques which clog bran cells and cause Alzheimer’s – for up to 24 hours in the parts of the brain responsible for memory and vision. The outcome was more dramatic when the therapy was conducted every day for seven days. It’s believed that the light works by stimulating an immune cell response. Microglia are the primary immune defense cells in the central nervous system. They seek out and destroy plaques, damaged brain cells, and infectious agents.

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