Sleep Influences the Severity of Memory Disruption in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: Results From Sleep Self-assessment and Continuous Activity Monitoring


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Abstract

Sleep is important for declarative memory consolidation in healthy adults. Sleep disruptions are typical in Alzheimer disease, but whether they contribute to memory impairment is unknown. Sleep has not been formally examined in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which is characterized by declarative-memory deficits without dementia and can signify prodromal Alzheimer disease. We studied 10 aMCI patients and 10 controls over 2 weeks using daily sleep surveys, wrist-worn activity sensors, and daily recognition tests. Recognition was impaired and more variable in aMCI patients, whereas sleep was similar across groups. However, lower recognition of items learned the previous day was associated with lower subjective sleep quality in aMCI patients. This correlation was not present for information learned the same day and thus did not reflect nonspecific effects of poor sleep on memory. These results indicate that inadequate memory consolidation in aMCI patients is related to declines in subjective sleep indices. Furthermore, participants with greater across-night sleep variability exhibited lower scores on a standardized recall test taken prior to the 2-week protocol, suggesting that consistent sleep across nights also contributes to successful memory. Physiological analyses are needed to further specify which aspects of sleep in neurological disorders impact memory function and consolidation.

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