Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 67–77

Neuropsychological and behavioral correlates of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children: A preliminary study

  • Judith Owens
  • Anthony Spirito
  • Ann Marcotte
  • Melissa McGuinn
  • Leslie Berkelhammer
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF03045026

Cite this article as:
Owens, J., Spirito, A., Marcotte, A. et al. Sleep Breath (2000) 4: 67. doi:10.1007/BF03045026

Abstract

Study Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate a group of children with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) for baseline neurocognitive deficits and behavioral dysfunction. A subset of the sample were also reassessed, using the same test battery, after treatment with adenotonsillectomy.Design: Baseline and post-treatment neuropsychological and behavioral assessment.Setting: Pediatric sleep disorders clinic at a children’s teaching hospital.Patients: 18 children (12 males, 6 females, mean age 7.3 years ±2.0) meeting polysomnographic criteria for OSAS underwent baseline assessment; 8 children (6 males, 2 females, mean age 8.4 years ±2.6) also completed the post-treatment assessment phase.Measurements: An age appropriate neuropsychological battery including measures of global cognitive functioning, language, executive functioning and attention, memory, visual perception/visual motor skills and motor skills; two parent rating scales of behavior.Results: Modest impairments, largely in executive functioning/attention and motor skills, were found at baseline. Parents endorsed a variety of behavioral problems, especially somatic complaints and problems with learning. There appeared to be relatively little association between impairment and disease severity, although there was a trend for the children with less severe disease, who were also older, to have relatively more behavioral problems. Post treatment, there were modest improvements in executive functioning/attention and motor skills, as well as in parent-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviors.Conclusions: The preliminary results with a small sample suggest mild deficits in executive functions and motor skills in children with mild to moderate OSAS, with modest improvements in the same neuropsychological domains post-treatment. A variety of parent-reported behavioral problems were found at baseline, again with modest improvement post-adenotonsillectomy.

Keywords

obstructive sleep apnea syndromechildrenneuropsychological functioningattentionmemory

Copyright information

© Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Owens
    • 1
  • Anthony Spirito
    • 2
  • Ann Marcotte
    • 3
  • Melissa McGuinn
    • 2
  • Leslie Berkelhammer
    • 2
  1. 1.Ambulatory PediatricsRhode Island HospitalProvidence
  2. 2.Child PsychiatryRhode Island HospitalProvidence
  3. 3.PediatricsMemorial Hospital of Rhode IslandPawtucket