The GammaGen mobile app is designed to be the centrepiece of a ‘citizen science’ project called GammaGen. The project makes use of recent research into the application of induced brain waves at a frequency of 40 Hz (‘gamma waves’) to affect the accumulation and distribution of amyloid plaques in mammalian brains (mice in the research). The build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. The aim of this project is to enable people with the disease, or with genetic factors that make them high risk of acquiring the disease, to engage in a benign potential therapy while at the same time helping to accumulate data in the effectiveness of the treatment.
The app produces light flashing at 40Hz on the screen, at the same time producing a 40Hz tone from the device’s audio circuits. The app is intended to be used with a simple VR headset (Google Cardboard or similar) and a pair of ordinary headphones.
The nature of the intervention is benign, involving only visible spectrum light and audible sound. However some safety features have been built into the app:
- The app ends the session if the smartphone moves in a way indicating the user has fallen asleep or is moving violently.
- The app permits a maximum session duration of 60 minutes.
- The app does not permit a further session for 18 hours.