Assessment of behavior and sleep in school-age children with generalized epilepsy

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Abstract

Background

Epilepsy and sleep disorders are considered by many to be common bedfellows. Sleep disorders frequently coexist in patients with epilepsy. Studies showed that sleep disturbances in children can precipitate to irritability; cognitive impairment, especially memory functions; and symptoms similar to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Objective

This work was carried out to assess sleep in school-aged children with epilepsy using sleep assessment questionnaire and abnormal behavior in those children.

Patients and methods

A case–control study was conducted to include 30 children with epilepsy, who were selected from the attendants of the neuropsychiatry outpatient clinic in Suez Canal University Hospital, along with an equal number (30 participants) of age-matched and sex-matched students as a control group. Case and control groups were subjected to psychiatric, neurological, and physical assessment; routine laboratory investigations; review of electroencephalogram and brain computerized tomography; and psychological testing scales [The Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire and Vanderbilt assessment (parent informant)]. An informed written consent was taken from parents of each child included in the study, and verbal consent was taken from each child.

Results

There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups in morning wake-up and daytime sleepiness, snoring during sleep, some items of attention deficit and conduct behaviors, and scholastic achievement.

Conclusion

Continuous assessment of sleep and behavior in children with epilepsy is important to exclude problems that can affect their life.

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