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Concurrent Impairments in Sleep and Memory in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • Carmen E. Westerberg (a1) (a2), Bryce A. Mander (a3), Susan M. Florczak (a1), Sandra Weintraub (a1) (a4) (a5) (a6), M.-Marsel Mesulam (a4) (a6), Phyllis C. Zee (a6) and Ken A. Paller (a1)...


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. (JINS, 2012, 18, 490–500)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Carmen E. Westerberg, Department of Psychology, Texas State University, San Marcos, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666. E-mail:


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Concurrent Impairments in Sleep and Memory in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • Carmen E. Westerberg (a1) (a2), Bryce A. Mander (a3), Susan M. Florczak (a1), Sandra Weintraub (a1) (a4) (a5) (a6), M.-Marsel Mesulam (a4) (a6), Phyllis C. Zee (a6) and Ken A. Paller (a1)...


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