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Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A study comparing children between 7 and 11 years of age who have moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally, found significant reductions of gray matter – brain cells involved in movement, memory, emotions, speech, perception, decision making and self-control – in several regions of the brains of children with sleep apnea. The finding points to a strong connection between this common sleep disturbance, which affects up to five percent of all children, and the loss of neurons or delayed neuronal growth in the developing brain. This extensive reduction of gray matter in children with a treatable disorder provides one more reason for parents of children with symptoms of sleep apnea to consider early detection and therapy.”(more)

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