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Light and Sound Stimulation for Alzheimer's Disease

Active, not recruiting

This study will test the safety and feasibility of light and sound stimulation in adults with mild Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are investigating the noninvasive method of stimulating brain waves as a potential way to slow or stop the disease.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
50 Years 100 Years All No
April 19, 2019
April 30, 2021

  • Mild Alzheimer's disease (Mini-Mental State Examination score of 19 to 26)
  • Able to sign informed consent or legally authorized representative who can provide consent

  • No health care
  • History of seizure, epilepsy, or stroke within past 2 years
  • Significant suicide risk and/or suicide attempt in past year
  • Behavioral problems such as aggression, agitation, or impulsivity
  • Diagnosed with migraine headaches
  • Prohibited medications: antiepileptic agents, psychiatric agents (e.g., antidepressants, antipsychotics), N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists (e.g., memantine), and medications that lower seizure threshold (e.g., bupropion, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin) 
  • Active implanted medical device, including cardioverter defibrillator, deep brain stimulator, cardiac pacemaker, or sacral nerve stimulator
  • Significant hearing or visual impairment
  • Life expectancy less than 2 years
  • Pregnant

In studies in mice, researchers found that a combination of light and sound stimulation improved memory and decreased accumulations of amyloid and tau proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease. In this study the investigators will test the method in humans, using a device composed of a panel with light-emitting diode (LED) illumination and speakers for sound stimulation.

Participants will receive active or sham stimulation for 30 to 60 minutes. Investigators will assess their brain waves before, during, and after stimulation. Cognitive and mental health evaluations, as well as memory tests, will also be performed.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge Massachusetts 02139

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Name Role Affiliation
Li-Huei Tsai, PhD Principal Investigator Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Edward S Boyden, PhD Principal Investigator Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Diane Chan, MD, PhD Principal Investigator Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Name Phone Email
Danielle Stark, MPH 617-258-7723


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