Study looks at how light stimulation can fight off the onset of dementia
RESEARCHERS are exploring how to enhance brain activity through light stimulation in the hope of advancing a new strategy to prevent Alzheimer's disease from developing.
The study is investigating new ways in which build-up of a protein toxic to brain cells, known as beta amyloid, could be halted with the use of light stimulation in areas of the brain which are particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer's.
"We have known for a long time that the beta amyloid protein is toxic to brain cells; it has recently been found that manipulating the activity of neurons can reduce the protein in some regions of the brain.
"But what is not well understood is how it can be used to do this across many brain regions at the same time.
"We are hopeful that this research can contribute to a new strategy for stopping Alzheimer's developing, particularly in people who, owing to family history or genetic issues, are seen to be at high risk of the disease."
The pre-clinical research will be focused on a brain area which communicates with many other areas and is among those most affected by Alzheimer's.
It will discover whether activating neurons in this brain area, using light, can enhance fast brainwaves which are impaired in people with the disease. The study will investigate whether such enhancement of brainwaves can reduce build-up of the toxic protein in a range of areas of the brain.
The research has received a grant of Pounds 50,000 from Alzheimer's Research
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