If childhood primary snoring resolves, do neurocognition and behaviour also improve? [ 2007 - 2010 ]

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof John Kennedy (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Alfred Martin Dr Cameron Van Den Heuvel Prof Kurt Lushington

Brief description Sleep breathing disorders (SBD) are common and affect around 10% of all children. Previous research however has shown that sleep disorders are often not recognised or considered important enough to report to general practitioners. Thus, the true incidence of sleep disorders in Australian children is not known. Nevertheless, even the mildest SBD, primary snoring, has been associated with significant deficits in daytime learning, memory, intelligence, attention and problematic behaviour. In severe cases of childhood SBD (i.e. sleep apnoea syndrome), removal of the tonsils and adenoids has been shown to improve the learning and behaviour problems. Thus there is increasing pressure on doctors to treat primary snoring in children with surgery to improve their intellectual functioning. However, recent evidence in children has shown that snoring may resolve naturally in up to 50% of cases over one to two years. In addition to the risks of surgery, the large number of children who may have a natural resolution of snoring suggestst that the pressure to treat primary snoring in may not be justified. This study will be the first to determine the prevalence of childhood snoring and associated problems in the Australian community. We also aim to discover whether snoring and the associated intellectual deficits persist over time during childhood. We will identify frequent snorers and healthy non-snorers in children aged 5-10 years old, using parental questionnaires. We will then study 75 snorers and 75 non-snorers in more detail, monitoring them with overnight sleep studies and questionnaires 2 years apart, to see if snoring, intellectual function and behavioural problems persist over time. This information will improve the health of Australian children by determining the prevalence of childhood SBD and persistence of associated deficits such as in learning, memory and behaviour.

Funding Amount $AUD 568,067.60

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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