How to build your own Alzheimer’s light treatment relay with Arduino/Espruino
As a huge fan of RadioLab and WNYC, I often find myself inspired by broadcasts, but a recent episode really floored me:
A new discovery: prodding the brain with light, a group of scientists were able to turn back on a part of the brain…www.radiolab.org
While far from conclusive and so far untested on humans, the results of the studies detailed in the podcast are extremely promising. The gist is by flickering light at and around the gamma frequency for extended periods of time, brain plaque caused by Alzheimer’s is dramatically reduced in lab mice.
This got me thinking how one would go about building a flicker box for this purpose if you wanted to try it out for yourself. My first thought was to just build a simple website (seizure warning):
The issue as you’ll soon discover is while the code is sound, most screens lack the refresh rate to actually hit the gamma frequency, leaving you with few options other than to build your own flicker box using arduino/espruino.
Above is a video where I go through my steps in building the relay. It’s incredibly simple, even for someone like me with limited knowledge on the subject. The code couldn’t be easier:
It’s a terrific beginner project and can be a thoughtful, (though risky — remember it has not undergone human trials) gift for anyone with a loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.