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J Clin Child Psychol. 1997 Sep;26(3):304-10.

Neuropsychological features and differential diagnosis of sleep apnea syndrome in children.

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Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis 63121, USA.


Recognizing the signs and effects of pediatric apnea is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment of children with psychological difficulties. Sleep apnea can have serious deleterious effects on children's cognitive, behavioral, and physiological functioning. Diurnal effects include inattention, decreased academic performance, oppositionality, and restlessness, stemming from frequent nocturnal arousals, excessive daytime sleepiness, and hypoxia. Clinically, the effects of pediatric apnea appear similar to characteristics of other childhood disorders, most notably attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Efforts to screen for sleep apnea should be regularly employed, especially for children who present with the symptoms discussed. Additional study of pediatric apnea is needed to heighten clinicians' awareness and improve diagnostic accuracy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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