Epileptic seizures may Snore memories during sleep


The finding could explain why many people with epilepsy forget newly learned information

person sleeping

MENTAL MIX-UP Memories rehearsed during sleep became jaded by seizures, and a small study found.

SAN FRANCISCO — Seizures during sleep may synthesize memories — a preliminary finding that may help explain why individuals with epilepsy sometimes have trouble remembering.

The sleeping brain normally rehashes newly learned material, an nocturnal rehearsal that strengthens these memories. Neuroscientist Jessica Creery and her coworkers pressured this rehearsal by enjoying specific sounds while nine individuals with epilepsy discovered at which on a screen certain images of ordinary objects were found. Next, while the subjects later shot, the researchers played the sounds to call up a few of the associated memories.

This sneaky method of strengthening memories, called targeted memory reactivation, functioned as anticipated for five people who did not have seizures during the process. When these people awakened, they remembered the image places reactivated by means of a tone better than those that were not reactivated during sleep,” said Creery, of Northwestern University at Evanston, Ill.. She introduced the research March 25 in the yearly meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.

The reverse was true, however, for four people who had mild seizures, discovered simply by electrodes implanted deep in the mind, while they slept. For all these individuals, memory reactivation during sleep actually worsened memories, which makes the reactivated memories poorer than the memories that weren’t reactivated throughout sleep. The mixture of seizures and memory reactivation”looks like it’s actually scrambling the memory,” Creery saysa finding that indicate that seizures accelerate forgetting.

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