Memory and sleep
Complexity of modern societies requires us to lifelong learning, so that memory is a necessity that encompasses all life, until advanced ages. Unfortunately, a characteristic of human aging is the progressive decline in cognitive abilities, including impairment of long-term retention of episodic memories. These cognitive changes occur in parallel with prominent fea.tures of aging, as the structural frontal lobe atrophy and the difficulty in maintaining sleep, specially slow wave sleep (SWS). Recent evidences suggests that these traits of aging might be causally related to the cognitive decline associated with age. The advances in neuroscience research of sleep and memory have suggested that optimization of brain processes that occur during slow sleep, activated by different types of brain stimulation are able to improve memory, so that manipulation by physical, pharmacological or psychological means of SWS could be a therapeutic target to minimize the effects of memory impairment associated with age.
In scignals, we are working on the development of a device able to implement a novel strategy for improving memory and learning along aging, chronically modulating brain activity during slow sleep through synchronized brain stimulation techniques that have already proven be able to improve memory, both in animal models and humans. We propose the improvement of a portable and low-cost system able to:
- domiciliary recording of sleeping EEG brain activity
- real-time analysis of EEG signal,
- easy access to cloud storing and analysis of data and
- non-invasive stimulation of brain during sleep.
We also would like to demostrate that the long-term use of this medical device might improve memory in healthy aging brains, and might be relevant for other sleep complains, as mild cognitive impairment, sleep apnea or insomnia