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Alzheimer's Disease Sleep

Sleep 'preserves memory'

10 years ago

582  0
Posted on Aug 13, 2008, 8 p.m. By Jeanelle Topping

A new study has revealed that sleep selectively preserves emotional memories, distinguishing them from background details.

A new study has revealed that sleep selectively preserves emotional memories, distinguishing them from background details.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Boston College has found that slumbering can play a key role in determining what is preserved in the mind and what is forgotten, Eurekalert notes.

Featured in this month's issue of the journal Psychological Science, it is disclosed that longer periods of sleep can help the brain go through this process.

In news that may be of interest to physicians examining Alzheimer's disease, Jessica Payne - a research fellow at BIDMC - explained that this showed sleep's preservation of emotional memory was not simply mechanistic.

As part of the study, 88 college students were shown an image of a car crash. One group then slept before being asked for feedback, a second was questioned after 12-hours of being awake and the final after 30 minutes.

Study author Elizabeth Kensinger said: "After an evening of sleep, the subjects remembered the emotional items [smashed car] as accurately as the subjects whose memories had been tested only 30 minutes after looking at the scenes."

In related news, the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting has heard that 94 per cent of doctors are aware of the relationship between type-2 diabetes and sleep apnea.
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