Boston, MA (PRWEB) February 02, 2013
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new study finding a link between memory lapses, deteriorating brain power, and poor sleep. According to the study, boosting sleep quality can improve memory.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/brain-function-articles/why-poor-sleep-hurts-your-memory) notes, the health breakthrough shows that slow brain waves generated during deep sleep play a key role in transporting memories around the brain—more specifically, transporting them from the hippocampus (short-term memory) to the prefrontal cortex’s longer-term “hard drive.”
As the article “Why Poor Sleep Hurts Your Memory” reports, in older adults, memories can get stuck in the hippocampus—due to poor-quality deep sleep. As a result, these memories are overwritten by new ones, explaining the relationship between brain deterioration, sleep disruption, and memory loss with age.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article explains that healthy adults typically spend one-quarter of the night in deep sleep. Slow waves emanate from the brain’s middle frontal lobe. Deterioration of this frontal region of the brain in elderly people is linked to a lack of deep sleep.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin reports, the new study involved 18 healthy young adults and 15 healthy older adults in their 70s. Before going to bed, participants learned and were tested on 120 word sets that taxed their memories. At night, researchers measured brain waves. In the morning, they were tested again on the word pairs.
The article notes that on average, the quality of older adults’ deep sleep was 75% lower than the younger adults, and their memory of the word pairs the next day was 55% worse.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin concludes, the study’s results may pave the way to therapeutic treatments for memory loss—enabling the brain to more easily recharge while in deep sleep.
(SOURCE: Mander, B., et al., “Prefrontal atrophy, disrupted NREM slow waves and impaired hippocampal-dependent memory in aging,” Nature Neuroscience, published online January 27, 2013.)
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