The objective of this prospective observational study was to assess the association between dysrhythmia of EEG background (disturbance of cerebral connectivity) and sleep difficulties. Sixty children, aged 4 to 12 years, participated. Hospital records were reviewed, and sleep histories were obtained by interviewing the parents. EEGs of 39 subjects were normal, showed epileptiform activity, and/or mild to moderate background dysrhythmia. Severe unilateral dysrhythmia was noted in 6 and bilaterally in 15 EEGs, with all 15 children having profound neurodevelopmental disabilities and 14 of these 15 having long-standing severe chaotic sleep/wake patterns. Thus, there was a highly significant association between EEG evidence of severe bilateral dysrhythmia and chronic sleep/wake dysregulation. Unilateral dysrhythmia was not associated with sleep difficulties. This study delineates a specific sleep disorder in a group of children with marked neurodevelopmental disabilities and offers insight into how disturbed cerebral connectivity impacts the thalamocortical dynamics relating to neurodevelopmental disabilities, sleep, and melatonin production.
- Neurodevelopmental disability
- Sleep disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Physiology (medical)