Aging clinical trials at UC Irvine
1 research study open to new patients
open to eligible people ages 60-75
The purpose of this research study is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying long-term memory formation in older adults. Both sleep and memory decrease with age. The investigators are interested in discovering whether these two biological changes are related. This study is specifically focused on understanding what are the critical components of sleep that facilitate memory formation and are they impaired in older adults. The investigators will be using the hypnotic zolpidem, a sleep drug that has been shown to increase a specific aspect of sleep that have been shown to correlate with memory improvement in young adults. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved zolpidem for use in certain sleep disorders, specifically in the treatment of sleeplessness (i.e., insomnia). In the current study, the investigators will examine whether zolpidem (5mg), compared with placebo, increases memory-related sleep events in older adults and test the impact of these drug-related sleep changes on post-sleep memory recall. This is a research study because the investigators are using pharmacological interventions to investigate our hypotheses about memory consolidation. The investigators are not studying the efficacy of zolpidem to treat conditions for which the FDA has already approved it.