Medical researchers are increasingly encouraged that light and sound therapy could be effective in halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, the irreversible brain disorder that causes disorientation and dementia in aging populations (older than 65), afflicts more than five million people in the United States alone. Currently, there is no cure.
A study published by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), however, suggests that stimulation of the visual and audio cortex could be an effective, non-invasive treatment for the disease. People living with Alzheimer’s disease may also be able to administer this treatment themselves in their own time and space.
There are two types of memory: short term memory and long term memory, right? Short term memory includes things like the phone call we just finished, what we had for breakfast, and who is picking up the kids today. Long-term memory is the face of our best friend from third grade, whether we paid our taxes on time last year, or the names of the bones in the human body from high school biology class.
By year’s end, we may learn whether injecting old people with blood from young people can improve their memory and even reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, the Stanford Medicine New Center reported that a team of medical researchers, led by neurologist Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray, infused old mice with blood plasma from younger mice and then examined the subsequent behavior of the old mice and any ensuing changes in their brain structure. After the “young blood” infusion, the older mice showed marked improvement in both learning and memory tests, and a detailed analysis of their brain structure showed changes in the hippocampus--the area of the brain responsible for memory--that suggested improved activity and nerve regeneration.