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Scientists Cleared Alzheimer’s Plaque From Mice Using Nothing but Light and Sound

Strobe lights and a low pitched buzz can be used to recreate brain waves lost in the disease.

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Alzheimer's
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(TMU) — In previous articles, we discussed the importance of brain waves in modern technological developments. It even seemed like something “magical” to me, when I was writing about how through brain waves and AI scientists can “see” what you are seeing in real-time. Now, even more progress is being made thanks to neuroscientists at MIT.

So far, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s despite rapid growth in the number of people living with the disease. It is estimated that around 44 million people around the world suffer from this condition or a related form of dementia. In the U.S., an estimated 5.5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease. It is also the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S, killing even more people than breast and prostate cancer combined.

Even though a few drugs temporarily manage certain cognitive symptoms of the illness, none of them can stop Alzheimer’s progression. Virtually all new treatments have failed in clinical trials. “We really don’t have much to offer people,” says Shannon Macauley, a neuroscientist at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

This new research basically works with imitating the healthy rhythmic patterns—or brain waves—that operate at different frequencies. Gamma brain waves oscillate at roughly 30 to 100 Hz and are associated with higher-order cognitive functions, and they are also known to decrease in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

A previous study showed that flashing light 40 times a second into the eyes of mice treated their Alzheimer’s disease. If this was not amazing enough, researchers also added sound of a similar frequency and this dramatically improved the results. In a way, we can be talking of “healing frequencies”… some “alternative” therapies in medicine may not sound so crazy now, huh?

This noninvasive treatment also greatly reduced the number of amyloid plaques found in the brains of these mice. Plaques were cleared in large swaths of the brain, including areas critical for cognitive functions such as learning and memory.

“When we combine visual and auditory stimulation for a week, we see the engagement of the prefrontal cortex and a very dramatic reduction of amyloid,” said Li-Huei Tsai, one of the researchers from MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

Another fact to consider is that the researchers found that if they treated the mice for one week, then waited another week to perform the tests, many of the positive effects had faded, suggesting that the treatment would need to be given continuously to maintain the benefits.

Tsui used a frequency ranging around 40 Hertz, a sound only just high enough for humans to hear, and as a “side effect,” it also helped clear the nearby hippocampus, an important area of the brain associated with memory. After treatment, mice exposed to this “therapy” performed better in a range of cognitive tasks. Findings show an overall neuroprotective effect, even in the later stages of neurodegeneration, the researchers reported.

“Though there are important differences among species, there is reason to be optimistic that these methods can provide useful interventions for humans,” says Nancy Kopell, a professor of mathematics and statistics at Boston University.

While further research is needed and a few numbers to understand, such as 40, the frequency that is creating a profound impact in mice, this is encouraging news to finally have an effective treatment for all stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

By Manuel García Aguilar  | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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