Impact of non-invasive brain stimulation during sleep on memory consolidation

The beneficial effect of sleep on memory consolidation is well documented in young, healthy adults. Recent evidence in young healthy subjects additionally suggests that sleep-associated consolidation can be amplified by the application of weak transcranial oscillatory electric currents. However, it is unknown if this effect can also be induced in healthy older adults and patients with neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Morbus Alzheimer, patients with mild cognitive impairments (MCI)), populations known to suffer from both disturbances in sleep architecture and memory consolidation.

In this project we investigated if older adults and patients with MCI also benefit from transcranial slow oscillatory stimulation applied during periods of nocturnal as well as daytime sleep.

Cooperation partner: Department of Experimental and Neurocognitive Psychology,  Freie Universität Berlin (Dr. Sascha Tamm) 

Study director: Prof. Dr. med. Agnes Flöel (WG Cognitive Neurology, NCRC, Neurology CCM)

Course of the study:

  • Tiefschlaf-MCI-tDCS: 04/2013 - 03/2017
  • NAP-MCI-tDCS: 04/2013 - 03/2017

The study is registered in the database clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01782391).

Publications:
Ladenbauer, J., N. Kulzow, R. de Boor, E. Avramova, U. Grittner, and A. Floel. "Promoting Sleep Oscillations and Their Functional Coupling by Transcranial Stimulation Enhances Memory Consolidation in Mild Cognitive Impairment." J Neurosci 37, no. 30 (Jul 26 2017): 7111-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0260-17.2017. Link

Ladenbauer, J., N. Kulzow, S. Passmann, D. Antonenko, U. Grittner, S. Tamm, and A. Floel. "Brain Stimulation During an Afternoon Nap Boosts Slow Oscillatory Activity and Memory Consolidation in Older Adults." Neuroimage 142 (Nov 15 2016): 311-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.06.057. Link