Study Links Sleep Apnea and ADD

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Study Links Sleep Apnea and ADD

ADD is one of the most prevalent and misunderstood mental issues of our time. In a recent study published in PubMed, Brazilian researchers found a suggested link between Obstructive Ventilatory Disorders and the incidence of neuropsychological disorders like ADD, hyperactivity and impulsiveness in children.

Their study suggests surgical removal of the adenoids and tonsils can have a significant positive effect for kids who struggle with obstructive breathing disorders and ADD. Here’s the study summary…

Neuropsychological disorders are frequently associated with obstructive ventilatory disorders (OVD).AIM: To analyze the incidence of neuropsychological disorders in Brazilian children with OVD, using a screening questionnaire and to compare the answers given before and after surgery.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We studied 30 children with clinical diagnosis of OVD. The children were divided into 3 groups: group I, children aged 4 to 7; group II, from 8 to 10; and group III, children over 11. The applied questionnaires were answered by the parents or tutors, and comprised 30 questions, 10 for each disorder: attention deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The children were diagnosed with one of the disorders when presented 3 or more positive answers. The follow up interview occurred 6 months after adenotonsillectomy.

RESULTS: There was a predominance of male gender (60.6%) over female gender (39.4%). Group II presented the highest number of significant changes, with reductions raging from 87.5% to 33.3% of patients with attention deficit, 75% to 50% of the hyperactive patients, and 50% to 33% of the impulsive patients.

CONCLUSION: There was neuropsychological improvement after the surgery, which occurred mainly in the children from group II. More interaction among health professionals is necessary when diagnosing and following up similar cases.

Certainly there’s much more to learn about how breathing disorders, ADD and hyperactivity are linked, but this is not the first study to make the connection. ADD is complex as we’ve seen here at Amen Clinics. There are at least 6 different types of ADD and they manifest in different brain systems. You can learn more about ADD, how it works on your brain and treatment options by visiting our website

To Your Brain Health,

Daniel Amen, M.D.
CEO, Amen Clinics, Inc.
Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association

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