Reducing White Matter Atrophy in Alzheimer’s Patients

Cognito's gamma sensory stimulation can help to reduce white matter atrophy in the brain.

Cognito's proprietary gamma stimulation device. Design: Card79. (Image credit: Business Wire)

Today, Cognito Therapeutics announced that its proprietary gamma sensory stimulation at 40Hz over a 6-month period reduced white matter atrophy in the brain for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, according to new data presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2022.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Although white matter atrophy is observed in normal aging, it is more pronounced in AD patients. White matter degeneration, myelin loss, and oligodendrocyte damage in AD patients suggest that white matter can be a mechanistically important target for AD.

The data presented from the OVERTURE study and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI1) database, suggest that Cognito’s 40 Hz gamma sensory stimulation therapy for a 6-month period may reduce white matter atrophy, protect axons, and possibly prevent myeline and oligodendrocyte damage in AD patients. Given the crucial role of white matter connecting expansive brain regions, preventing or reducing its atrophy may diminish AD disease progression, reports BusinessWire.

The OVERTURE study treatment group participants received 1 hour of Cognito’s daily 40Hz simultaneous auditory-visual sensory stimulation at home for a 6-month period with placebo group participants receiving sham stimulation. Analysis between the groups suggested a difference in white matter atrophy favoring the treatment group. To compare the treatment group with a larger control group, Cognito studied ADNI1 data as well.

The OVERTURE study treatment group participants exhibited a 0.38±0.82 percentage increase and ADNI1 study participants exhibited a -2.45±0.40 percentage decrease in white matter volume after a 6-month period (p<0.004).

Cognito also presented OVERTURE study results at an AAIC Featured Research Session titled: Neuronal excitation/inhibition imbalance contributes to Alzheimer’s disease pathology and represents a potential target for treatment. Summary results of OVERTURE clinical trial demonstrated that gamma sensory stimulation is safe and well tolerated, and efficacy outcomes indicated beneficial clinical effects, including maintained cognitive and functional abilities, reduced brain atrophy, and improved sleep quality.

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“Our proprietary gamma sensory stimulation therapy for a 6-month period was shown to reduce white matter atrophy, and potentially protect axons, prevent myelin, and oligodendrocyte damage in Alzheimer’s patients,” said Brent Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer, Cognito Therapeutics. “These results continue to build on our knowledge and understanding of how gamma frequency patterns in the brain are disrupted in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, and how our technology restores the levels of neural activity to improve cognition.”

“Given the crucial role of white matter connecting expansive brain regions, preventing or reducing its atrophy may diminish disease progression. These results presented at AAIC indicate that our therapy can potentially improve outcomes for patients with Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases that involve loss of white matter and myelination,” added Mihaly Hajos, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Cognito Therapeutics.

About Cognito Therapeutics

Cognito Therapeutics is a pioneer in disease-modifying therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative diseases and human cognitive performance. The company has completed multiple clinical studies demonstrating its investigational therapeutic platform has the potential to safely slow or stop the cognitive decline and loss of brain volume in Alzheimer’s disease. Cognito has received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for treatment of the cognitive and functional symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease in individuals diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and expects to start pivotal studies in 2022. The company’s technology is based on pioneering optogenetics research by scientific co-founders Professors Li-Huei Tsai and optogenetics pioneer Ed Boyden at MIT. Cognito Therapeutics is based in Cambridge, MA.

Jürgen Thalmayer
September 16, 2022

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