Auditory Stimulation during sleep to improve memory in mild cognitive impairment

Project: Research project

Project Details


Specific aim(s)/objective(s): Specific Aim #1: To determine whether auditory stimulation increases SWA by 10% in older adults with MCI. The 10% increase would represent an effect size of approximately 1.1 standard deviation. Specific Aim #2: To determine the effect of stimulation on cognitive performance in people with aMCI. Cognitive performance will be assessed using word pair recall and the NIH Toolbox cognition battery, which includes tests of executive function, attention, working memory, episodic memory, language, and processing speed. Background: There are links between SWA, learning, and aging, and treatments to improve memory are limited. Our overall objective is to understand the role of sleep in memory impairments and to develop interventions to improve cognition and sleep in older adults, including those with AD-related memory impairment. Auditory stimulation during sleep is a strategy to increase SWA that improves learning in young adults and possibly in older adults, but it has not been examined in people with aMCI. Although people with aMCI have some degree of anatomical damage related to the memory dysfunction, there is still some remaining functional tissue supporting the existing memory function. Interventions that can enhance the function of this tissue, such as by increasing SWA, and improve memory need to be tested. Design including subject population(s) and hypothesis: Hypothesis #1: Auditory stimulation will increase SWA by 10% in people with aMCI. Hypothesis #2a: Auditory stimulation will improve scores on tests of fluid cognitive functions, namely episodic memory (word pair recall, Picture Sequence Memory) and working memory (List Sorting Working Memory Test) in aMCI. Hypothesis #2b: Change in SWA will positively correlate with change in working and episodic memory tests.
Effective start/end date7/1/156/30/16


  • Illinois Department of Public Health (63282002D)


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