Possible Novel Treatment to Improve Cognition in Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease

LDS LRC Alzheimer 400

August 12, 2020

A new study by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) demonstrates that 40 Hz red light stimulation delivered to open eyes of healthy young adults increases brain gamma oscillations. Gamma oscillations are associated with attention and memory processes and are known to be disrupted in persons with Alzheimer’s Disease.

The next steps are to investigate whether this promising, non-pharmacological lighting intervention can improve cognition in persons with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The paper Flickering Red-Light Stimulus for Promoting Coherent 40 Hz Neural Oscillation: A Feasibility Study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.



Authors: Sahin, Levent | Figueiro, Mariana G.

Background:Coherent 40 Hz (gamma) neural oscillation indicates healthy brain activity and is known to be disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. 40 Hz entrainment by flickering light is known to significantly attenuate AD pathology in mice.

Objective:To demonstrate the feasibility of using a lighting intervention to promote coherent 40 Hz neural oscillation, improved working memory performance, and reduced subjective sleepiness among a population of healthy young adults. If successful, the intervention could be extended to address cognitive impairment associated with mild cognitive impairment and AD.

Methods:Nine healthy participants (median age 22 years, five females) were exposed to one of two lighting conditions per session in a within-subjects counterbalanced manner. The study’s two sessions were separated by 1 week. Custom-built light masks provided either a 40 Hz flickering red light (FRL) intervention or a dark control condition (i.e., total darkness, light mask not energized) at participants’ eyes. Data were collected four times per session: pre-exposure, after 25-min exposure, after 50-min exposure, and post-exposure. Each data collection period included a Karolinska Sleepiness Scale report, an electroencephalogram, and working memory (n-back) auditory performance testing.

Results:The FRL intervention induced a significant increase in 40 Hz power and a modest increase in low gamma power. The intervention had no significant impact on working memory performance and subjective sleepiness compared to the control. However, increases in 40 Hz power were significantly correlated with reduced subjective sleepiness. Conclusion:The results clearly demonstrate the feasibility of using a flickering light to increase 40 Hz power.

Go HERE for more information

Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • Congratulations Within – New Appointments for 2022

    November 30, 2022 At Mulvey & Banani, they believe that their success is because of their people, and that people are the most important part of their business. The following individuals have demonstrated excellent aptitude, initiative and leadership amongst their teams. This year, together with their subsidiaries, Mulvey & Banani Audio Visual (MBAV) and Mulvey… Read More…

  • A-Light Wins Two GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN Awards

    November 29, 2022 A-Light has announced its Relay and Absorb I luminaires have received 2022 GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN Awards in the 15th edition of the competition. Relay is a PLATINUM winner in the Industrial Design/Lighting Fixture-Indoor category. And Absorb I received GOLD CERTIFICATION in both the Lighting Fixture-Indoor and Product-Acoustic categories. The GRANDS PRIX… Read More…


New Products

  • Eureka Introduces Tangram-Trace Architectural Luminaire

    Eureka Introduces Tangram-Trace Architectural Luminaire

    November 30, 2022 Eureka announced the release of its Tangram-Trace architectural luminaire. Using bold straps and a prismatic lens, Tangram-Trace creates a dramatic aesthetic and provides high quality, diffused linear illumination. It is intended for modern environments such as conference and executive areas, hospitality applications, or reception spaces. Tangram-Trace luminaires are suspended using four-inch-wide straps,… Read More…

  • EarthTronics Introduces Flexible 5”/6” Recessed Ceiling Downlight Trim Kit

    EarthTronics Introduces Flexible 5”/6” Recessed Ceiling Downlight Trim Kit

    November 30, 2022 EarthTronics introduces its 5”/6” LED Recessed Ceiling Light Trim Kit offering five color selectable operations for commercial and residential retrofit and new construction applications. The downlight is CCT selectable and can be easily switched between 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K and 5000K at time of installation for the desired color temperature.  The 5”/6” LED Recessed… Read More…