Taking sleeping pills could help a person improve his memory, a controversial new study has claimed. Researchers have confirmed the mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate memory and found that a commonly prescribed sleep aid enhances the process.
The discovery could lead
to new sleep therapies that will improve memory for ageing adults and those with dementia, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.
Earlier research found a correlation between sleep spindles — bursts of brain activity that last for a second or less during a specific stage of sleep — and consolidation of memories that depend on the hippocampus.
The hippocampus, part of the cerebral cortex, is important in the consolidation of information from short-term to long-term memory, and spatial navigation.
The hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain damaged by Alzheimer’s.