Concurrent impairments in sleep and memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment

Carmen E. Westerberg*, Bryce A. Mander, Susan M. Florczak, Sandra Weintraub, M. Marsel Mesulam, Phyllis C. Zee, Ken A. Paller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whereas patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience difficulties forming and retrieving memories, their memory impairments may also partially reflect an unrecognized dysfunction in sleep-dependent consolidation that normally stabilizes declarative memory storage across cortical areas. Patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) exhibit circumscribed declarative memory deficits, and many eventually progress to an AD diagnosis. Whether sleep is disrupted in aMCI and whether sleep disruptions contribute to memory impairment is unknown. We measured sleep physiology and memory for two nights and found that aMCI patients had fewer stage-2 spindles than age-matched healthy adults. Furthermore, aMCI patients spent less time in slow-wave sleep and showed lower delta and theta power during sleep compared to controls. Slow-wave and theta activity during sleep appear to reflect important aspects of memory processing, as evening-to-morning change in declarative memory correlated with delta and theta power during intervening sleep in both groups. These results suggest that sleep changes in aMCI patients contribute to memory impairments by interfering with sleep-dependent memory consolidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-500
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Long-term memory
  • Memory consolidation
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Polysomnography
  • Slow-wave sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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