Boosting Slow Oscillations during Sleep to Improve Memory Function in Elderly People: A Review of the Literature.
Sleep represents a crucial time window for the consolidation of memory traces. In this view, some brain rhythms play a pivotal role, first of all the sleep slow waves. In particular, the neocortical slow oscillations (SOs), in coordination with the hippocampal ripples and the thalamocortical spindles, support the long-term storage of the declarative memories. The aging brain is characterized by a disruption of this complex system with outcomes on the related cognitive functions. In recent years, the advancement of the comprehension of the sleep-dependent memory consolidation mechanisms has encouraged the development of techniques of SO enhancement during sleep to induce cognitive benefits. In this review, we focused on the studies reporting on the application of acoustic or electric stimulation procedures in order to improve sleep-dependent memory consolidation in older subjects. Although the current literature is limited and presents inconsistencies, there is promising evidence supporting the perspective to non-invasively manipulate the sleeping brain electrophysiology to improve cognition in the elderly, also shedding light on the mechanisms underlying the sleep-memory relations during healthy and pathological aging.
PMID: 32429181 [PubMed]
Brain Sci. 2020 May 15;10(5):
Authors: Salfi F, D’Atri A, Tempesta D, De Gennaro L, Ferrara M