Multi-sensory Gamma Stimulation Ameliorates Alzheimer's-Associated Pathology and Improves Cognition

Martorell AJ, Paulson AL, Suk HJ, Abdurrob F, Drummond GT, Guan W, Young JZ, Kim DN, Kritskiy O, Barker SJ, Mangena V, Prince SM, Brown EN, Chung K, Boyden ES, Singer AC, Tsai LH (2019) Multi-sensory Gamma Stimulation Ameliorates Alzheimer's-Associated Pathology and Improves Cognition, Cell 177(2):256-271.

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We previously reported that inducing gamma oscillations with a non-invasive light flicker (gamma entrainment using sensory stimulus or GENUS) impacted pathology in the visual cortex of Alzheimer’s disease mouse models. Here, we designed auditory tone stimulation that drove gamma frequency neural activity in auditory cortex (AC) and hippocampal CA1. Seven days of auditory GENUS improved spatial and recognition memory and reduced amyloid in AC and hippocampus of 5XFAD mice. Changes in activation responses were evident in microglia, astrocytes, and vasculature. Auditory GENUS also reduced phosphorylated tau in the P301S tauopathy model. Furthermore, combined auditory and visual GENUS, but not either alone, produced microglial-clustering responses, and decreased amyloid in medial prefrontal cortex. Whole brain analysis using SHIELD revealed widespread reduction of amyloid plaques throughout neocortex after multi-sensory GENUS. Thus, GENUS can be achieved through multiple sensory modalities with wide-ranging effects across multiple brain areas to improve cognitive function.


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