Neuronal and synaptic loss is characteristic in many neurodegenerative diseases, such as frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Recently, we showed that inducing gamma oscillations with visual stimulation (gamma entrainment using sensory stimuli, or GENUS) reduced amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau in multiple mouse models. Whether GENUS can affect neurodegeneration or cognitive performance remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that GENUS can entrain gamma oscillations in the visual cortex, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex in Tau P301S and CK-p25 mouse models of neurodegeneration. Tau P301S and CK-p25 mice subjected to chronic, daily GENUS from the early stages of neurodegeneration showed a preservation of neuronal and synaptic density across multiple brain areas and modified cognitive performance. Our transcriptomic and phosphoproteomic data suggest that chronic GENUS shifts neurons to a less degenerative state, improving synaptic function, enhancing neuroprotective factors, and reducing DNA damage in neurons while also reducing inflammatory response in microglia.
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