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40Hz Sound Generator
Posted: Monday, July 13, 2020 3:20 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 380


Alzheimer’s disease. There is some early-stage scientific evidence that listening to a 40 Hz tone can reverse some of the molecular changes in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. This is one of these things that sound too good to be true, but early results are very promising. Here’s a summary of the research so far and a report from a user who tried 40 Hz therapy on his wife. (Note that this tone generator is not a medical device – I don’t guarantee anything!)


Does listening to a 40 Hz tone “clean up” the brain in Alzheimer’s patients?

In 2012, I made a Web-based tone generator with the goal of helping tinnitus patients determine the frequency of their tinnitus to better target therapy. Since then, I have heard from people using my generator to teach physics, practice violin, drive away carpenter bees, tune DIY speakers, analyze room acoustics, calibrate vintage synthesizers, cause mischief in class with frequencies the teacher can’t hear, and even open a portal to Sedona, AZ. Far be it from me to take away from all these worthwhile applications, but last week, I got a message from Dennis Tuffin (of Devon, England), describing a new use for my generator which may very well trump everything else:

For the past 7 weeks I have been using your tone-generator for a purpose I wouldn’t think you had envisaged but about which I am sure you will be interested.

*              *                                                                   *                                                          So I have been trying the sound therapy on my wife who is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and to my surprise after 8 days she started to show small signs of being more mentally alert than before. So I have continued to use your tone generator using a 40Hz sine wave for about an hour each day. (I’ve recently started to do it twice a day for slightly shorter sessions). I found it necessary to connect external speakers to my laptop in order to pick up such a low note and to run it at a level of between 46-54 decibels so that she hears it wherever she is in the room. (Dementia sufferers get very fidgety!).



Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2020 11:23 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5137

This one is in mice, but adds further encouragement to a "sound" approach.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Monday, July 20, 2020 10:18 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5137

One of the theories behind these different forms of multi-sensory intervention (40hz sound, ultrasound, flickering lights, transcranial magnetic stimulation, aromatherapy) is that they produce gamma waves which stimulate microglia to remove misfolded amyloid and tau proteins.  This is turn reduces oxidation, nitration, and inflammation.

On the other hand overstimulation of microglia can cause oxidation, nitration, and inflammation.  So careful callibration of the amount of microglia response is probably needed.

Beyond this, though, gamma waves are decreased in Alzheimer's disease and this decrease may play some role in reduced cognitive function.  Restoring gamma waves in people with Alzheimer's disease can potentially help improve some cognitive function.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 7:35 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5137

This is fascinating but confusing.

First here are the effects of gamma wave activity:

3.1.1 Gamma Waves

gamma wave is considered to be the fastest brain activity. It is responsible for cognitive functioning, learning, memory, and information processing. Prominence of this wave leads to anxiety, high arousal, and stress; while its suppression can lead to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, and learning disabilities. In optimal conditions gamma waves help with attention, focus, binding of senses (smell, sight, and hearing), consciousness, mental processing, and perception.

Secondly, here is an explanation of why gamma wave activity declines in Alzheimer's disease:

Here, we demonstrate that priming with IFN-γ [inteferon, although any priming of microglia would probably led to the same result] itself induces proliferation and moderate activation of microglia, including up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Importantly, the concomitant moderate release of nitric oxide (NO) is sufficient to disturb fast neuronal network oscillations (30–70 Hz) that underlie higher brain functions, such as perception, attention, and memory. This mechanism might contribute to early cognitive impairment in chronic brain disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Gamma waves may stimulate the neuroprotecting phosphatidyinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway.  In any case, it seems that sound, light, and smell all have a beneficial effect on Alzheimer's disease in part by increasing gamma wave activity.