Leveraging brain rhythms as a therapeutic intervention for Alzheimer’s disease Event as iCalendar

20 December 2018

10 - 11am

Venue: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Location: CBR Seminar Room

Host: Centre for Brain Research

Cost: Free

Contact email: sarah.j.evans@auckland.ac.nz

Website: www.cbr.auckland.ac.nz

Dec 20 CBR Seminar

Rhythmic neural activity in the gamma range (30-80 Hz) is modulated during various aspects of cognitive function and has been shown to be disrupted in several neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Impaired gamma oscillations have also been reported in several AD mouse models, even before the onset of Aβ accumulation and major cognitive impairment. It is well established that local network oscillations at specific frequencies can be induced in cortical areas using sensory stimuli.  

Recently, we applied this approach, which we term Gamma ENtrainment Using Sensory stimuli (GENUS), using a light programmed to flicker at 40 Hz to induce gamma oscillations in the visual cortex of AD model mice.  We found a profound reduction in amyloid load in visual cortex after 1 hr of visual GENUS that appears to involve the concerted actions of many different cell types, including neurons and microglia to reduce the production and enhance clearance of Aβ, respectively. Chronic exposure to GENUS reduced amyloid plaque and phosphorylated Tau pathology in multiple brain regions in 5XFAD and P301S transgenic mice, respectively, and improved learning and memory. Therefore, GENUS represents a novel and powerful non-invasive approach to combat AD related pathology and symptoms. 

Professor Li-Huei Tsai is the Director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Picower Professor of Neuroscience, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute.  Tsai is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and an Academician of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.