Effect of sleep on novel motor task learning in elderly individuals
Corresponding Author(s) : Dr Richa N Shah
International Journal of Allied Medical Sciences and Clinical Research,
Vol. 8 No. 3 (2020): 2020 Volume - 8 Issue-3
Purpose and objective:
To study the effect of sleep on novel motor task learning in elderly individuals.
68 elderly were divided randomly into Sleep group and No sleep group. Evaluation was done using Star excursion balance test (SEBT), Tandem walk test (TWT) and Dynamic Gait Index (DGI) before session. Sleep group subjects practiced novel task in evening at 8 pm and underwent retention testing next morning at 8 am. While in no sleep group they practiced the novel task in morning 8 am and underwent retention testing same day in evening at 8 pm. Novel task included 30 mins session of 3 virtual reality based games. Both groups were then analyzed using Wilcoxon Signed Rank W test within the group and Mann-Whitney U test between the two groups.
Primary outcome measures were SEBT, TWT and DGI. Secondary outcome was considered as Stanford Sleepiness Scale before the session.
Older adults in sleep group (n=32) showed increased performance in SEBT and step length, stride length components of TWT (p<0.05) as compared to no sleep group (p>0.23). However, participants in both groups showed improvement in base of support component of TWT- [sleep group (p<0.05) with (%change-38%) and no sleep group (p=0.08) with (%change-5.8%)]. DGI score also improved in both sleep group (p<0.05) with (%change-16.4%) and no sleep group (p<0.05) with (%change-7.1%).Hence, effect seen in group A was more than in group B (p<0.05)
Present study demonstrates that older adults were able to perform novel tasks better after a night of sleep as compared to older adults who didn’t sleep. It suggests that Sleep dependent offline learning can be applied to both simple and complex tasks. Offline learning refers to memory consolidation which takes place without any active participation of subject itself. It is described in terms with interference technique in which the consolidation of a primary task is disrupted by the immediate performance of a secondary task. If the period is lengthened then the extent of learning is lengthened as well Also, it is found that there is a positive correlation between sleep spindle density and offline motor learning and during different sleep states various neurophysiological changes take place. Therefore with better sleep learning over a novel task can be improved.
Sleep is effective in novel motor task learning in elderly individuals
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