Life is not easy. Especially when you are in a family of invisible illnesses and disabilities. It can be serious, funny and downright hard! But we make it. Just like everyone else. We just do it in a different style.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cicadian Clock and Memory

If I sound like a broken record on this, please forgive me. Since it affects my family so deeply, it is kind of a broken record in my house.

At this point, only myself and my oldest son with autism have a half-way decent memory. My sister, husband and young son...oh, just forget it.

All three seem to have sleep issues and the memory, especially short-term is just terrible. I don't even laugh about it anymore.

I just take the peanut butter out of the freezer, pick up the garbage bag from the middle of the floor where someone left it, retrieve my sister bank card from the back of my van and keep going.

This article is an animal study, but it hits home with us. Another link in the chain of loss thoughts and disrupted sleep. Enjoy.

Circadian Clock Could Help Learning Retention

Your circadian biological clock, which regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day, may actually be helping you remember what you learn, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers at Stanford University's Department of Biology compared tasks between two groups of Siberian hamsters — one with their circadian rhythms removed by non-invasive means and the other a control group. In a delayed object recognition task, arrhythmic animals couldn't distinguish a new object from a familiar one only 20 minutes or an hour after training.

The researchers concluded that internal circadian clocks contribute to memory function in a way that is independent of sleep. "In aging humans, one of the big things that happens is the circadian system starts to degrade and break down," biologist Norman F. Ruby, who contributed to the study, said in a press release. "When you get older, of course, a lot of things break down, but if the circadian system is a player in memory function, it might be that the degradation of circadian rhythms in elderly people may contribute to their short-term memory problems."

Original article at: