Two recent studies involving rodents and sound have shown profound results, with a strong potential for larger mammals and humans. One used ultrasound to induce hibernation in mice and possibly in rats, which don’t hibernate otherwise. Another used gamma vibrations at 40 Hz to test the effects on mouse brains and found many amazing benefits.
It’s more evidence that psychic Edgar Cayce was right on the money when he said, “The medicine of the future will be music and sound.”
Inducing Hibernation with Ultrasound
First, The Guardian reported that hibernation or a torpor-like state has been artificially triggered in a “potential space travel breakthrough.” Thus, it’s another case where science fiction was ahead of its time, putting astronauts into hibernation to travel across deep space.
Previous studies with mice on the International Space Station have shown similar promise for space travel, showing that DNA and sperm may remain viable despite exposure to cosmic radiation.
Although mice and rats were the subjects of the studies, scientists think they could similarly induce hibernation in larger mammals and even humans. The brain area they targeted was the hypothalamus, deep inside the brain’s core. There, a protein called TRPM2 appears sensitive to ultrasound.
For this experiment, they put small caps on mice that played short ultrasound bursts at normal room temperature. In response, the mice’s body temperature dropped by 3C, and their metabolism changed, burning only fat and not carbs.
Impressively, their heart rates fell by 47%, and the rodents could be kept in the state for 24 hours by delivering automatic ultrasound pulses as needed. If they stopped the ultrasound, the mice woke up unharmed an hour later.
Rats also responded to the ultrasound, although their body temperature only dropped 1C. The researchers are still gathering data to see if the rat’s metabolic rate or other factors have changed. Later, they may attempt similar experiments on larger mammals.
According to the New York Times, “Researchers who study the brain with ultrasound must tune their devices carefully to avoid heat that can damage tissues.” But they also noted that the heat from the ultrasound could be related to the changes in the rodents.
Previous research showed that ultrasound enhanced people’s sense of touch by targeting areas of the brain.
Vide about inducing hibernation in mice by NEW9 Live:
Vibrating Mouse Cages at 40 Hz Gamma Frequency
In another study, MIT researchers put mouse cages over speakers playing 40 Hz white noise sound. As a result, the cages vibrated, delivering tactile stimulation as well as sound.
Previous research has shown similar potential with light and sound, increasing “gamma power” in the brain. When gamma waves are weaker than they should be, it could contribute to Alzheimer’s. (see video below)
They turned on the speakers for an hour a day for several weeks and found incredible results:
- Improved brain health and motor function
- Reduced levels of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein (phosphorylated tau)
- Reduced levels of DNA damage
- Preservation of neurons and synapse connections
Studies with light and sound showed improved learning and memory as well as improved blood circulation. Best of all, all the benefits come with non-invasive sensory stimulation with minimal side effects. No pharmaceuticals needed.
“The MIT group is not the first to show that gamma frequency tactile stimulation can affect brain activity and improve motor function, but they are the first to show that the stimulation can also reduce levels of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein phosphorylated tau, keep neurons from dying or losing their synapse circuit connections, and reduce neural DNA damage,” reported Technology Networks.
The study could hold much promise for people with Alzheimer’s with therapies that could help protect brain neurons and prevent loss of synapse connections. It could also potentially help people with impaired motor functions and in many other ways.
You can see neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai, a corresponding author of the MIT study, discuss treating Alzheimer’s with light below via TED:
Featured images generated with Dalle-2