Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Higher Risk of Behavioral, Adaptive and Learning Problems on Children with Sleep Apnea

“This study provides some helpful information for medical professionals consulting with parents about treatment options for children with SDB that, although it may remit, there are considerable behavioral risks associated with continued SDB,” said Michelle Perfect, PhD, the study’s lead author and assistant professor in the school psychology program in the department of disability and psychoeducational studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “School personnel should also consider the possibility that SDB contributes to difficulties with hyperactivity, learning and behavioral and emotional dysregulation in the classroom.”

Sleep apnea is a common form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). A recent study found that obstructive sleep apnea is connected with elevated rates of ADHD-like behavioral problems in children plus other adaptive and learning problems. The journal SLEEP will feature the five-year study in their April issue. This study is utilized data from a longitudinal cohort, the Tucson Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea Study (TuCASA). The TuCASA study prospectively examined Hispanic and Caucasian children between 6 and 11 years of age to establish the occurrence and commonness of SDB and its outcomes on neurobehavioral functioning. The outcome of the study shows that 23 children had incident sleep apnea that actualized at some point in the study period, and 21 children had persistent sleep apnea the whole time of the entire study. While 41 children who at first had sleep apnea no longer had breathing problems during sleep at the five-year follow-up. The chances of having behavioral problems were four to five times greater in children with incident sleep apnea and six times higher in children who had persistent sleep apnea.

Children with sleep apnea were more likely to have parent-reported problems in the areas of hyperactivity, attention, disruptive behaviors, communication, social competency and self-care compared to youth who never had SDB. Children with persistent sleep apnea moreover were seven times more probably to have parent-reported learning troubles and three times more likely to have school grades of C or lower. Mind you to have knowledge on fraud prevention because scam watch should always occur to you, there are scams present in every case. “Even though SDB appears to decline into adolescence, taking a wait and see approach is risky and families and clinicians alike should identify potential treatments,” said Perfect.

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