Cognitive Improvement by Photic Stimulation in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Jan 24, 2023

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by memory loss, confusion, and difficulty completing daily tasks. While there are currently medications available to help manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, there is still no cure for the disease.

Recently, scientists have been exploring new ways to treat Alzheimer’s, and one promising avenue of research is light therapy. In a recent study, researchers found that exposure to light can improve cognitive function in mice with a disease similar to Alzheimer’s.

The study focused on a protein called Aβ, found in the brain and associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers discovered that Aβ suppresses the activity of a potassium channel called BK in brain cells. However, when a protein called Homer1a is present, the suppression of the BK channels is reversed.

Homer1a is known to be produced in response to light stimulation, which led the researchers to investigate whether light therapy could reverse the suppression of BK channels caused by Aβ and improve cognitive function in mice with a disease similar to Alzheimer’s.

The study found that exposing mice with the disease to light for 6 hours a day for four weeks improved their memory and ability to navigate a maze. Additionally, the electrical activity of brain cells was improved, and the levels of BK channels and Homer1a were restored to normal. The researchers also discovered that the presence of Homer1a specifically caused the improvement in BK channel activity.

Based on these findings, the researchers believe that light therapy may be a non-invasive way to treat Alzheimer’s disease by restoring the normal function of BK channels and Homer1a in the brain.
While this study was conducted in mice, the results are promising, and it’s exciting to think that a simple and non-invasive treatment like light therapy could one day help people with Alzheimer’s disease. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings in humans and fully understand how light therapy improves cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s.