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Neurocognitive performance and behavior before and after treatment for sleep-disordered breathing in children

Authors Mark J Kohler, Kurt Lushington, J Declan Kennedy

Published Date August 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 159—185


Published 16 August 2010

Mark J Kohler1, Kurt Lushington2, J Declan Kennedy1
1Children’s Research Centre, University of Adelaide, North Adelaide, Australia; 2School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Abstract: Neurocognitive and behavioral problems are increasingly reported in children with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). The impact of treatment for SDB on neurocognition and behavior is, therefore, an issue of increasing importance. To date, there has been little consideration given to the quality of studies when reviewing associated neurocognitive and behavioral problems in children with SDB, and furthermore, there has been little systematic review of treatment outcomes. The aim of this review was to provide an up-to-date and critical review of the current literature. Findings indicate a specific pattern of neurocognitive problems in children with SDB; however, the pattern of behavioral problems is less clear. Very few studies were found to provide a rigorous investigation of posttreatment neurocognitive and behavior outcomes. Despite this, relatively consistent improvements in global intelligence, attention, and visual spatial ability are shown; however, persistent deficits in other domains are also evident. For behavior, problems of hyperactivity, aggression or conduct problems, and somatic complaints improve following treatment. In contrast, symptoms of anxiety and social problems less consistently improve. These findings should aid in the development of more targeted investigations and well-designed studies exploring both the causative mechanisms and the treatment response for neurocognitive and behavior problems in children with SDB.
Keywords: adenotonsillectomy, neurocognition, sleep-disordered breathing, children, behavior

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