Piece from Quanta Magazine from 2 days ago:
Also see my post on whether it might be a lot simpler to reverse aging than is widely believed (possibly using BCIs and neurofeedback):
From that Quanta Piece:
Incredible as it may sound, the researchers improved the brains of animals with Alzheimer’s simply by using LED lights that flashed 40 times a second. Even sound played at this charmed frequency, 40 hertz, had a similar effect.
It turns out that the brain waves of animals and people with Alzheimer's have weak gamma frequency components right around 40 hertz; and scientists wondered if stimulating the brain, somehow, to boost the gamma component, would reverse Alzheimer's.
At first, they tried using optogenetics; and they succeeded with that. But then they stumbled on the idea of simply showing animals strobe lights and sound tuned to 40 hertz. And that worked, too!
It turned out that the stimuli caused rhythmic patterns of neural activity to stimulate microglia, the immune and cleanup cells of the brain. And it literally caused them to release cytokines, to signal and coordinate the cleanup.
It's like something out of the novel Snow Crash, where information inflow has an effect on the brain. What's more, they think that by using different frequencies of sound and light, they can induce different types of cytokines to be released!:
That means doctors could potentially treat different diseases just by varying the light and sound rhythms they use. The different stimuli would rock the neurons into producing appropriate brain wave frequencies, causing nearby microglia to release specific types of cytokines, which tell microglia in general how to go to work repairing the brain.
I would imagine that BCI neurofeedback + patterned stimuli would go even further -- a lot further -- because you'd have a lot more brain parameters to tune; and you could measure the effect of different stimuli on the brain. So, perhaps multiple different brain ailments can be reversed, somehow.
And, who knows?... you might even be able to reverse aging. Maybe even just staring at a 40 hertz strobe light, and listening to low-frequency sound, can marshal microglia to reset the brain to a younger state, and then the whole body, too.