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Sleep may help ease memory loss in Parkinson's patients

Wednesday - 8/22/2012, 11:40am  ET

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Doctors say getting a good night's sleep is important for everyone's health. But it could be crucial to helping improve memory loss associated with Parkinson's Disease, according to a new study.

In addition to tremors and moving slowly, the study in Brain Journal says Parkinson's patients can have issues with what's known as "working memory" if they don't get enough deep sleep. Working memory helps people perform daily activities, plan and solve problems.

Those skills can be especially important to those still in the workforce. About one in five patients diagnosed with Parkinson's is younger than 50 years old.

But, getting good sleep helps with working memory, according to research conducted at the Emory University School of Medicine.

The memory improvement was only associated with people getting the deepest stage of sleep called slow wave sleep.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)