Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, located in Baltimore, Maryland tested 31 children (19 had OSA, 12 did not) to get a grip on just how much Obstructive Sleep Apnea can affect a child’s developing brain. While the occasional halting of breathing may not seem like a cause for concern, it very well might be.
Compared to the children without OSA, those that are afflicted by it scored significantly lower on IQ tests. Furthermore, their speech-related memory was also not up-to-par when test results we shown alongside their peers’ scores. Researches also noticed a shortage of metabolite ratios in the left hippocampus (which is important for formations of short and long-term memories). While they don’t have evidence to support this hunch yet, the conductors of the study think that if a child goes without treatment for OSA, it could have permanent adverse effects on their cognitive abilities.
Obstructive sleep apnea is most frequently found in kids ages 2–6. Some symptoms include snoring, enlarged tonsils, and intervals of not breathing. If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing OSA, it is recommended that you consult your pediatrician to take the necessary steps to help him or her.