October 7, 2020

Study Finds Sleep Abnormalities Are a Major Issue in up to ¾ of Children With Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Abstract, originally published in Seizure

Purpose: This study aims to assess the prevalence of sleep abnormalities in children with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) and characterize their polysomnographic profile and to further compare it with well-controlled epilepsy (WCE) and age-matched typically developing children (TDC).

Methods: A cross-sectional study consisting of 40 children in each group (DRE, WCE, and TDC) was conducted. Children’s sleep habits questionnaire (CSHQ) and modified pediatric Epworth daytime sleepiness scale (MPEDSS) were administered to all three groups. Thirty-five children each in the DRE and WCE group and 17 TDC underwent single night polysomnography (PSG).

Results: The prevalence of sleep abnormalities by the administration of CSHQ in DRE group was 72.5% (95% C.I-58.7 to 86.3%, mean score: 47.5 ± 7.1) compared to 32.5% (42.4 ± 6.2) and 15% (37.3 ± 5) in WCE and TDC groups respectively (P = 0.01). On MPEDSS, 52.5% of children in the DRE group had excessive daytime sleepiness compared to 12.5% in WCE and 5% in TDC groups respectively (p-0.03). On overnight PSG, sleep efficiency and REM sleep duration were significantly reduced in the DRE group in comparison to WCE and TDC. N2 duration, REM latency, arousal, and apnea-hypopnea index were significantly increased in the DRE group when compared to WCE and TDC groups.

Conclusion: Sleep-related problems are major comorbidity in up to three-fourths of patients with DRE and sleep architecture is significantly affected particularly in the DRE group.