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Dev Neuropsychol. 2009;34(5):601-14. doi: 10.1080/87565640903133566.

Inefficient or insufficient encoding as potential primary deficit in neurodevelopmental performance among children with OSA.

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Division of Pediatric Sleep Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kosair Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.


Memory (M) impairments have been suggested in pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea along with attention and executive (AE), language (L), and visuospatial (V) dysfunctions. NEPSY assessment of children aged 5-9 years who were either healthy (N = 43), or who had OSA without L, V, AE (OSA(-), N = 22) or with L (N = 6), V (N = 1), AE (N = 3) (OSA(+), N = 10) dysfunctions revealed no gross memory problems in OSA; however, over the three learning trials of cross-modal association learning of name with face, the OSA(-) progressively improved performance, whereas the OSA(+) failed to progress. No within-group differences between immediate and delayed memory tasks were apparent. The data suggest the presence of slower information processing, and/or secondary memory problems, in the absence of retrieval or recall impairments among a subset of children with OSA. We hypothesize that inefficient/insufficient encoding may account for the primary deficit.

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