Life is not easy. Especially when you are in a family of invisible illnesses and disabilities. It can be serious, funny and downright hard! But we make it. Just like everyone else. We just do it in a different style.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kids, Sleeping and Cognitive Functioning

Okay, I hadn't planned to put to articles about kids and sleep back to back, but this is an exception.

This article below outlines what I believe destroyed my son's life as we know it. I know that sounds dramatic, but we are trying to build a new life where the old one is going, going, gone. I don't get angry about it that much anymore, but I believe, if one doctor had asked me about snoring and sleep issues or paid attention when I DID say something, my son's life might be different right now. Notice I said, "might." No one knows, but with the information I have now, things could have been very, very different.

Please read and pass on to anyone you think needs to know this.

Cerebral oxygen saturation linked to cognitive function variation in children with sleep-disordered breathing.

By David Holmes

14 October 2008

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178: 870-875

MedWire News:

Factors influencing regional cerebral oxygen saturation may interact to explain the sources of variability in cognitive function of children with sleep-disordered breathing, researchers report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

About two-thirds of children with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have some level of cognitive deficit. "However, the frequency of apnea events during sleep does not predict cognitive deficit and does not correlate with the degree of cognitive deficit,” Raouf Amin (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, USA) explained.

He continued: “Such a paradox raised the question of whether there are some variables that we do not traditionally measure in the sleep laboratory that might modify the effect of SDB on cognition."

To investigate further, Amin and team used infrared spectroscopy to measure the degree of cerebral oxygenation during sleep in 92 children aged 7 to 13 years, including 14 control children without sleep-disordered breathing, 32 with primary snoring, and 46 with OSA. The team also measured blood pressure and additional sleep diagnostic parameters.

They found that children with snoring had a significantly lower regional cerebral oxygen concentration than healthy children. However, paradoxically, they found that children with OSA − usually considered a more severe from of sleep-disordered breathing − had significantly higher regional cerebral oxygen concentrations than children with snoring only, and higher levels than controls.

"During normal sleep, when breathing appears to be stable, there seems to be higher oxygen in the brain among children with sleep apnea compared even to normal children," said Amin.

The finding may be attributable to the fact that sleep apnea raises blood pressure, according to Amin. "Children with sleep apnea have higher blood pressure compared with children who snore. This may explain why paradoxically we find higher oxygen levels in children with OSA."
David Gozal (University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA) wrote in an accompanying editorial that the findings showed that “neurocognitive deficits are not just in the brain matter but involve the cardiovascular system as well."

"By taking into account the role of blood pressure in regulating the amount of oxygen concentration in the brain, we might have a better understanding of the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive deficit," concluded Amin.