NREM sleep as a novel protective cognitive reserve factor in the face of Alzheimer’s disease pathology

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology impairs cognitive function. Yet some individuals with high amounts of AD pathology suffer marked memory impairment, while others with the same degree of pathology burden show little impairment. One proposed explanation is cognitive reserve i.e., factors that confer resilience against, or compensation for the effects of AD pathology. Deep NREM slow wave sleep (SWS) is recognized to enhance functions of learning and memory in healthy older adults. This research shows that of therapeutic importance, and unlike many other cognitive reserve factors identified to date, sleep may represent a novel modifiable reserve factor and thus a promising treatment target. 

Link: BMC Medicine (5/2023)