Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Stephanie Ancheta L&S Arts & Humanities

Ameliorating Alzheimer's Disease Effects via Novel Light Stimulation

Synchronous gamma wave brain oscillations, which oscillate at a frequency of 40 Hz, underlie healthy cognitive functioning and are disrupted in Alzheimer’s Disease, leading researchers to explore sensory stimuli delivered at 40 Hz as a potential therapy to resynchronize neuronal firing and thus slow cognitive decline. However, the stroboscopic nature of 40 Hz lighting makes it an unlikely treatment for humans. This project hopes to overcome the challenges posed by stroboscopic 40 Hz white-light by testing the efficacy of a novel invisible spectral flicker (ISF) light system, which masks the visible flicker of 40 Hz light by fusing two light waves together in antiphase. By examining the effects of ISF on cognition and microglia clearance of Aβ plaques, I hypothesize that ISF treatment will lead to synchrony of gamma oscillations in the brain, increased microglia activation, and a resulting decrease in Aβ concentration in our rodent models. Results from this study may validate simultaneous research being conducted in human trials at DTU, while closing vital gaps in the basic science surrounding this exciting new therapy.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to say thank you to the sponsors that funded this project and made this experience possible. It has been a life-long dream of mine to conduct my own independent research and I am beyond excited and grateful to have the opportunity to make that dream a reality this summer. Being a part of this fellowship will undoubtedly be a highlight of my undergraduate career at Cal and will provide me with an invaluable insight into my future career as a researcher of neurodegenerative diseases.
Profile image of Stephanie Ancheta
Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology - Neurobiology
Mentor: Lance Kriegsfeld
Sponsor: Anselm MPS Fund
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