The relationship between sleep and cognition in Parkinson's disease: A meta-analysis

Maria Pushpanathan, A.M. Loftus, Meghan Thomas, N.D. Gasson, Romola Bucks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
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It is well established that sleep disorders have neuropsychological consequences in otherwise healthy people. Studies of night-time sleep problems and cognition in Parkinson's disease (PD), however, paint a mixed picture, with many reporting no relationship between sleep problems and neuropsychological performance. This review aimed to meta-analyse this research and to examine the factors underlying these mixed results. A literature search was conducted of published and unpublished studies, resulting in 16 papers that met inclusion criteria. Data were analysed in the domains of: global cognitive function; memory (general, long-term verbal recognition, long-term verbal recall); and executive function (general, shifting, updating, inhibition, generativity, fluid reasoning).

There was a significant effect of sleep on global cognitive function, long-term verbal recall, long-term verbal recognition, shifting, updating, generativity, and fluid reasoning.

Although there are effects on memory and executive function associated with poor sleep in PD, the effects were driven by a small number of studies. Numerous methodological issues were identified. Further studies are needed reliably to determine whether disturbed sleep impacts on cognition via mechanisms of hypoxia, hypercapnia, sleep fragmentation, chronic sleep debt or decreased REM and/or slow wave sleep in PD, as this may have important clinical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


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