Thursday March 21, 2019

Sleep spindles may help in improving memory retention

Also, the new understanding of the way the brain normally processes and strengthens memories during sleep may help to explain how that process may go wrong in people

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Sleep spindles can help in memory retention. Pixabay
Brain's memory can be affected by Depression and Anxiety. Pixabay
  • Sleep spindles can help in retaining new memories
  • These spindles are few seconds for oscillatory bursts
  • This can help in understanding cognitive processes of the human brain

Want to strengthen your cognitive skills regarding any relevant information? Sleep spindles can help you in retaining new memories related to any newly learned information when you sleep.

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This research can help in understanding human cognitive processes. Pixabay

Sleep spindles are half-second to two-second bursts of oscillatory brain activity — occurring during non-rapid eye movement sleep stages two and three — and measured in the 10 to 16 Hertz range on an electroencephalogram (EEG). Previous researches had shown that the number of spindles during the night could predict a person’s memory the next day.

“While it has been shown previously that targeted memory reactivation can boost memory consolidation during sleep, we now show that sleep spindles might represent the key underlying mechanism,” said Bernhard Staresina, post-doctoral student at the University of Birmingham.

“Thus, direct induction of sleep spindles — for example, via transcranial electrical stimulation — perhaps combined with targeted memory reactivation, may enable us to further improve memory performance while we sleep.”

For the study, published in the journal Current Biology, the researchers devised an experiment in which people learned to associate particular adjectives with particular objects and scenes.

Structure of brain can help find the causes behind epilepsy.
Sleep spindles can cause better memory.

Some study participants then took a 90-minute nap after their study session, whereas others stayed awake. While people napped, the researchers cued those associative memories and unfamiliar adjectives. The results showed that the memory cues led to an increase in sleep spindles. Interestingly, the EEG patterns during spindles enabled the researchers to discern what types of memories — objects or scenes — were being processed.

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“Our data suggest that spindles facilitate processing of relevant memory features during sleep and that this process boosts memory consolidation,” he said. Also, the new understanding of the way the brain normally processes and strengthens memories during sleep may help to explain how that process may go wrong in people with learning difficulties, the researchers added. IANS

Next Story

Intake Of Vitamin B Nutrient Can Prevent Babies From Brain Disorders Caused By Cold During Pregnancy

Cold and flu are often unavoidable, even if the mother has had a flu shot. But cold and flu during pregnancy double the risk of future mental illnesses.

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When mothers had a cold or flu during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the newborns'  ability to cease or delay the effect on the brain decreased by 27 per cent. Pixabay

Besides flu vaccines, maternal intake of a vitamin B nutrient can prevent babies from brain disorders caused by cold or flu in pregnancy, say researchers.

The study showed that higher levels of choline prevented brain problems and mental illness, like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia, in babies even when the mother had cold or flu during pregnancy.

“Cold and flu are often unavoidable, even if the mother has had a flu shot. But cold and flu during pregnancy double the risk of future mental illnesses. More and more information show choline helps the baby’s brain develop properly,” said Robert Freedman, Professor at the University of Colorado in the US.

baby
The study showed that higher levels of choline prevented brain problems and mental illness, like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia, in babies even when the mother had cold or flu during pregnancy. Pixabay

“We found higher levels of choline prevent foetal brain problems from developing, even when the mother is infected. Choline supplements in pregnancy can have a lifelong benefit for the infant,” Freedman said.

For the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics, the team assessed prenatal maternal infection, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) — a marker of maternal inflammation — and the mothers’ choline levels.

Brain development before birth was assessed by measuring the baby’s brain waves soon after birth.

baby
Choline supplements in pregnancy can have a lifelong benefit for the infant,” Freedman said.
Pixabay

When mothers had a cold or flu during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the newborns’
ability to cease or delay the effect on the brain decreased by 27 per cent.

Maternal flu also decreased children’s ability to pay attention and play.

Also Read: Study Warns Patients That Now Drugs Contain Inactive Ingredient

However, these effects were prevented if the mother had higher choline levels, the findings showed.

While the body creates some choline on its own and it is also naturally present in certain foods, including liver, red meat and eggs, pregnant women are recommended 450 mg of choline a day to improve babies’ brain development. (IANS)