Where's the research?
The most recent research about light therapy and Alzheimer's disease appeared the in the journal Nature in 2016, entitled Gamma frequency entrainment attenuates amyloid load and modifies microglia. Please take into consideration that although the experimenters used external gamma light LEDs, they only observed amyloid beta clearance in the visual cortex. Whether or not the beneficial effects of gamma light therapy can have wide scale effects on other brain regions involved in Alzheimer's disease remains an open avenue of investigation.
What is amyloid beta?
Amyloid beta (sometimes called beta amyloid, or β-Amyloid, or Aβ) is a neural peptide, or a string of amino acids, that have been found to aggregate or "clump" in Alzheimer's disease. While it's not clear if amyloid beta is the cause of the disease, or perhaps a mechanism fighting it, there is a strong correlation between disease severity and the amount of amyloid beta in the brain. For this reason an enormous amount of resources have been devoted to developing human therapies designed to reduce the accumulation of amyloid beta in the brain. Some such therapies are currently undergoing supervised human clinical trials including gamma light therapy.
What is "gamma" light?
The "gamma" frequency is often used in the field of neuroscience and physiology to represent phenomena that occur roughly 40 times per second, or 40 Hertz (Hz). It's not known why the gamma frequency activates these cellular processes but likely represents a complex phenomena of both large-scale neuronal networks and sub-cellular interactions. This problem of scale represents one of the most exciting intersections in the field of neuroscience but unfortunately leaves many questions open about the significance of the gamma frequency. Importantly, frequencies outside of the gamma range have been show to not produce the same effect in regards to the clearance of amyloid beta.
Is gamma light dangerous?
Some people who suffer photosensitivity or are susceptible to seizures might negatively react to gamma light. We strongly encourage anyone who might be at risk to first contact their primary doctor before implementing any type of light therapy. The human eye can in general not distinguish frequencies greater than 60 Hz, which is why normal light bulbs in a house using a 60 Hz power source are not visibly bothersome. However, because the gamma frequency is significantly lower (40 Hz) and because the lights distinctly transition between the 'off' and 'on' using a square wave electrical signal, the flicker is noticeable by most people.
What type of lights do you use?
We use a high quality, low power, warm-white LED light string that delivers a calibrated gamma flicker through our Gamma Dimmer unit. Our lights were chosen specifically to reflect the methods of the most current research on gamma light therapy. Our Gamma Light Therapy Adapter will balance the intensity of the lights and the 40 Hz flicker frequency will stay constant, so you can enjoy mood lighting without sacrificing the potential therapeutic benefit of gamma light. If you're more interested in how we generate a 40 Hz centered signal you can read our tutorial on How to Build a Gamma 40 Hz LED Dimmer.
How do I use my Gamma Light Therapy Kit?
We do not recommend using your light kit for more than one hour a day. The most recent research shows a drastic reduction in amyloid beta after only one hour of light exposure, although the effect is only maintained for roughly 24 hours. The best recommendation for any therapy is to use it in moderation and to make adjustments based on how you feel. Use the kit for a period of time based on your own discretion. Please download the manual for more detailed instructions as well as our disclaimer on the product(s) use. It's important to understand the use of this product/kit is not an approved medical therapy.
Where can I put my lights?
Our LED lights were meant to be decorative and are extremely versatile. They are low power and do not get as warm as standard incandescent bulbs. The light string is made of a flexible wire and although the connectors are not water resistant, the light string itself will not be easily damaged if exposed to moisture. You might consider some of the following ideas or come up with your own creative applications. Remember, you can also use a timer with your Gamma Light Therapy Kit for your convenience.