Illustration of light's affect on the brain

What you should know about light therapy to prevent cognitive decline

Here’s a proverb everyone knows: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We can trace it back almost a thousand years, but Benjamin Franklin made it famous by using it to encourage his fellow Philadelphians to cultivate fire-safety habits. The image of a spreading fire really brings home his point: it takes such small steps to prevent a fire, but what a project to stop it once it’s ablaze!

When it comes to health, the connection between the sparks and the eventual illness may not be quite as direct as with a fire, but we have plenty of data to convince us that healthy habits are well worth cultivating. Daily exercise, for example, can hold off a host of ills, from cardiac problems to diabetes. Even easier to cultivate are habits we’ve all built into your daily routine, like brushing your teeth before you go to bed. Once the habit’s established, it takes very little energy to keep with it.

Did you know that there are simple habits that you can adopt to protect your cognitive health too? We’ve known for some time that even if you’re genetically predisposed to dementia, how you live today can have a great effect on your future brain health. But new breakthroughs in research have made it much easier to build some cognitive-health routines into daily life, so it’s easy to tap into the beneficial habits that protect your brain from cognitive decline.

BEACON40® is a habit that can piggyback onto daily routines that are already well established.

BEACON40® is a safe, silent light that flickers 40 times per second. Researchers at leading brain health institutes have shown that lights that flicker at this frequency can substantially reduce the beta amyloid plaques seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Beacon40 is not only noninvasive—it’s passive, which means it works without requiring any attention from you. You can turn it on during the day while you’re watching a show and benefit from its nurturing light. Daily exposure for one or more hours per day can complement your regular routines like reading, eating, or answering emails—and that’s even easier than brushing your teeth.

FACT: Healthy brains feature brain waves or rhythms that oscillate at a rate of 40 times per second (this is 40Hz, also known as the gamma rhythm). These gamma frequencies are associated with higher-order cognitive function.

FACT: A buildup of amyloid plaque inhibits brain waves and disrupts healthy brain rhythm.

FACT: Researchers studied the impact of light therapy and found that a 40Hz flickering light shined into the eye induced a healthy gamma rhythm in the brain.

FACT: 40Hz visual stimulation, given one hour a day for six weeks, had dramatic positive effects on brain function, leading to 40–50% reduction in amyloid plaque, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, in the hippocampus.

Even an ounce of prevention can be hard to sustain if it takes a lot of mental and physical energy. That’s the beauty of this scientific breakthrough. It allows us to introduce brain-health routines passively into our lives as habits that roll along almost effortlessly. Beacon40 is a habit that can piggyback onto daily routines that are already well established, taking advantage of the positive, self-care that’s already there.