Snoring in Children Linked to Behavioral Problems, Study Says

snoring is with a variety of Behavior problems in children, including hyperactivity, poor concentration and difficulties. A new study has for the first time found a possible explanation for this: snoring can actually change the shape of children’s brains.

Snoring three or more nights a week can change the shape of a child’s frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for higher thinking skills, says a new one to learn of more than 10,000 children between the ages of 9 and 10 years. Children who snored had smaller amounts of information-processing gray matter in several regions of their frontal lobe, including regions involved in problem-solving Impulse control, and social interactions. Children who snored more also had more behavioral problems. The results suggest that snoring can cause behavior problems, but it’s impossible to be sure without further research.

“These changes in the brain are similar to what you would see in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children have a loss of cognitive control, which is also associated with disruptive behavior, ”the first author of the study Amal Isaiah, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in a Press release.

Snoring is often a sign of breathing difficulties. If children have difficulty breathing while sleeping, they may not be able to supply their brain with adequate oxygen. This could lead to changes in the shape of the brain and thus behavior problems.

Fortunately, these problems can be reversible. “We know that the brain has the ability to repair itself, especially in children, so timely detection and treatment of obstructive sleep disorders can mitigate these brain changes,” said co-author of the study Linda Chang, MD, MS, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The researchers suggest that parents take children who snore habitually to a doctor who can test them for obstructive sleep-related breathing disorders, which are commonly treated by removing the tonsils and polyps. This condition is not uncommon and affects up to 10 percent of children. It is often misdiagnosed as a ADHD and treated with stimulants.

“If you have a child who snores more than twice a week, that child needs screening,” Isaiah said. “We now have strong structural evidence from brain imaging to underline the importance of diagnosing and treating sleep-disordered breathing in children.”

Oops! Please try again.

Thanks for subscribing!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *