Skip to main content

A cause of memory problems in MS identified

A new study has found missing out on sleep may worsen the memory of people with clinically isolated syndrome or relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS).

Researchers also found a link between sleep deprivation and worse cognitive efficiency, although they concluded this was caused by the worsening of mood due to sleep disturbances.

People with MS are known to have poor sleep compared to people without the condition. Memory consolidation takes place while we sleep, and those that are sleep deprived may have poor memory because the brain doesn’t get the time it needs for memory consolidation.

Patients in this study underwent various assessments, including a self-reported sleep disturbance questionnaire, and cognitive speed and memory tests. Those with sleep deprivation issues had a higher number of brain lesions, worse mood and fatigue than those without sleep disturbances.

The sleep deprived participants also had significantly worse memory than those without sleep disturbances. Those without sleep problems however performed as well as the healthy control group in memory tests.

According to various studies previously, poor memory could be linked with sleep deprivation because inadequate rest stops the hippocampus’ ability to process new information, which leads to a worse memory.  

Read next: Safer MRI scans are on the horizon

Sub button for news stories - NP.jpg