hepcat72
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Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:49 am

Has anyone started a project to create an LED that blinks at 40Hz, based on the recent discovery that a 40Hz blinking LED can reduce beta amyloid plaques in the brain by 50%?

http://news.mit.edu/2016/visual-stimula ... eimer-1207

hepcat72
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:26 pm

"The researchers built a simple device consisting of a strip of LEDs that can be programmed to flicker at different frequencies.
Using this device, the researchers found that an hour of exposure to light flickering at 40 hertz enhanced gamma oscillations and reduced beta amyloid levels by half in the visual cortex of mice in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s."

Has anyone used LED strips with RPi? I've been modifying pi-rc to send 27.148Mhz RF signals to my bose stereo that are keyed on & off in microsecond intervals. It uses the dma controller to control the intervals, sending the signal through GPIO 4 (pin 7). 40hz should be easy to flicker a strip of LEDs. I just am not sure what the voltage requirements would be for a strip of LEDs. I've seen LED strips used in the lab to backlight 96 well plates of fruit flies, but those are just plugged into an outlet and on constantly.

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B.Goode
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:33 pm

Using LED lights flickering at a specific frequency, MIT researchers have shown that they can substantially reduce the beta amyloid plaques seen in Alzheimer’s disease, in the visual cortex of mice.

This treatment appears to work by inducing brain waves known as gamma oscillations, which the researchers discovered help the brain suppress beta amyloid production and invigorate cells responsible for destroying the plaques.

Further research will be needed to determine if a similar approach could help Alzheimer’s patients, .... “It’s a big ‘if,’ because so many things have been shown to work in mice, only to fail in humans,
Ref: http://news.mit.edu/2016/visual-stimula ... eimer-1207

hepcat72
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:40 pm

Yeah. I read the article.

Doesn't mean it won't work. The principal is sound and the research is promising. I'm a computational biologist. I went into biology because of Alzheimer's. My Dad is starting to have memory issues. My grandfather had lewy body dementia. I just want to DO something. And this is something any of us can do.

Incidentally, I found an Arduino project: https://blog.cinqmarsmedia.com/alzheimers-52aabbfbdbfd

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B.Goode
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:59 pm

If a stable fixed frequency of 'flicker' is a prerequisite for your research, an Arduino running a dedicated executable code will be a better platform for your experiment than a Raspberry Pi board running an Operating System.

Your expertise in the clinical aspects of this clearly exceeds mine. But I think I am correct in thinking that some people with conditions such as epilepsy and autism can have adverse reactions triggered by flickering lighting. But if you are qualified to undertake this research you will probably be aware of that and will design your experiment in a way that does not put such people at risk of harm.

hepcat72
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:32 pm

Epileptic seizures are triggered by flickers in the range of 3-30hz. A 40hz flicker appears as constant light to an observer. But it's good for anyone else reading to be aware of the concerns you bring up.

I assume, with your advocacy of arduino over RPi and your mentioning of running an OS (which I assume to mean a raspbian GUI), you are referring to controlling frequency based on processor speed. However, you don't have to base it on processor speed if you use the DMA controller in RPi, like is done in the pi-rc project. I have successfully transmitted 27.148Mhz RF signals with my RPi using pi-rc. I'm no hardware expert, but if I can reliably control power flow frequencies at 27 million fluctuations per second, I would think that 40 per second would be entirely possible. Unless there are other things to consider when powering an LED strip.

hippy
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:12 pm

hepcat72 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:26 pm
40hz should be easy to flicker a strip of LEDs. I just am not sure what the voltage requirements would be for a strip of LEDs.
Generating 40Hz I would have thought should be easy enough using the Pi's PWM controller though I have never tried it. Then all you need is a transistor or FET of a suitable current rating to switch the current through the LEDs.

As to voltage; that would depend on which LED strip you used. Some are 5V, some are 12V. What current you need to cater for depends on LED strip size and how many LEDs are being switched.

https://dordnung.de/raspberrypi-ledstrip/

You would only need one transistor or FET if your LED strips are single colour.

drgeoff
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:16 am

A couple of $/£/€ will buy a 555 timer IC and the few necessary resistors and capacitors required to generate such low frequencies. With a variable resistor you can adjust the frequency by turning a knob. No RPi. No software.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Blinking LED project to affect people afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:56 pm

drgeoff wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:16 am
A couple of $/£/€ will buy a 555 timer IC and the few necessary resistors and capacitors required to generate such low frequencies. With a variable resistor you can adjust the frequency by turning a knob. No RPi. No software.
Don't even have to get that complicated. I used to build 1Hz oscillators out of 2 dual-input NAND gates, plus an RC timing circuit. Not necessarily terribly accurate, though, but I suspect there is a fair amount of tolerance in the OPs project. And if there isn't, he should probably start with a proper bench oscillator to get the exact frequency he wants.

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