Flickering Light and Sound to Improve MCI?

While looking into various websites related to Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), I came across a fascinating article. This article talks about the effect of flickering light and sound at a frequency of 40Hz on brain chemistry. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) observed that when mice afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease are exposed to 40 Hz flickering light and sound, amyloid plaque, which is a telltale sign of the disease in the brain, was reduced, or completely eliminated.

As described in this article, brain activity at this frequency is somewhat compromised in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The potential to cure Alzheimer’s disease by the use of flickering light and sound at this frequency is very exciting because it raises the possibility that it could treat mild cognitive impairment even more effectively. The fact that no medication is required for this treatment makes it even more attractive.

Unfortunately so far, the effectiveness of 40 Hz light and sound has only be demonstrated in mice. Some human trials are getting started but I have not seen any results yet. I asked myself the question; did I want to wait until the studies were completed and the treatment FDA approved? As you can guess, I didn’t want to wait that long, so I decided to give it a shot using the tools that are already available for this type of treatment.

Light

There are a few options for 40 Hz flickering lights. The lowest cost way is to use your smartphone. For example, the app shown below activates the flashlight on your smartphone to flicker at any frequency. Once you load the app, you can just set the frequency to 40 Hz and put the phone right in front of your face. I tried this one first but needless to say, it is rather awkward and uncomfortable since you have to keep holding it up in front of your face.

Another way is to use this lamp from Amazon.ca. It is a desk lamp that can be used as a normal desk lamp, but also has the option to provide a 40 Hz flickering light. This is the one I acquired myself and I am now using it every day.

The third one is a more expensive option. This is also a table lamp, which they claim to be effective if it is turned on for just one hour, even in daylight. I am not sure how effective is, but at least one reviewer said that it helped his mother.

One word of caution. Apparently you should not use any flickering lights if you have any tendency to suffer from seizures. I recommend that if you want to give it a try but are not sure if it’s for you, it is best to start with the flickering light app on your smartphone.

Sound

Again, the easiest way is to use your smartphone. You can download the app shown below and use your earphones. There are many other apps available but I found this one to be most suitable for this purpose. I am using a setting that provides the sharpest sound. However, I am not sure what the most effective setting is for treating the brain.

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