Sleep 'improves memory in Parkinson's patients'

22 August 2012

Getting a good night's sleep can improve the working memory in people with Parkinson's disease.

People with Parkinson's disease could improve their memory through enjoying a good night's sleep, according to new research.

Those with the condition performed much better on working memory tests after a night's sleep, according to research published in the journal Brain.

It was also found that sleep disorders can interfere with this improvement in working memory.

These findings highlight the importance of treating sleep disorders in patients with Parkinson's disease - which can affect the individual's working memory, which is important in planning, problem solving and living independently.

Michael Scullin, first author of the paper, said: "It was known already that sleep is beneficial for memory, but here, we've been able to analyse what aspects of sleep are required for the improvements in working memory performance."

The improvement in working memory from sleep was linked to the amount of slow wave sleep, or the deepest wave of sleep, that patients got.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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