Brain Rhythms to the Rescue: Stimulation to Protect the Brain From Stress
Chronic stress leads increased anxiety and anhedonia (lack of pleasure) and a two-fold or more increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. One of the primary mechanisms by which stress is thought to increase disease risk is by causing abnormal immune responses that lead to the loss of connections between neurons. We will now determine how to use novel non-invasive brain stimulation to boost resilience to stress (Aim 1), and discover how stimulation prevents stress-induced synaptic loss (Aim 2).
This research takes an innovative conceptual approach to Alzheimer's disease by prophylactically promoting disease resilience instead of treating disease after it develops and by using neural stimulation to achieve this. By halting the pathological effects of chronic stress with innovative non-invasive stimulation, this research will reveal how to prevent stress-related diseases. Future research will test these findings in clinical studies.