Working memory impairment and its associated sleep-related respiratory parameters in children with obstructive sleep apnea

Esther Yuet Ying LAU, Elizabeth W. M. CHOI, Esther S. K. LAI, Kristy N. T. LAU, C. T. AU, W. H. YUNG, Albert M. LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Study Objective
Working memory deficits in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have been reported in previous studies, but the results were inconclusive. This study tried to address this issue by delineating working memory functions into executive processes and storage/maintenance components based on Baddeley's working memory model.
Methods
Working memory and basic attention tasks were administered on 23 OSA children aged 8–12 years and 22 age-, education-, and general cognitive functioning-matched controls. Data on overnight polysomnographic sleep study and working memory functions were compared between the two groups. Associations between respiratory-related parameters and cognitive performance were explored in the OSA group.
Results
Compared with controls, children with OSA had poorer performance on both tasks of basic storage and central executive components in the verbal domain of working memory, above and beyond basic attention and processing speed impairments; such differences were not significant in the visuo-spatial domain. Moreover, correlational analyses and hierarchical regression analyses further suggested that obstructive apnea–hypopnea index (OAHI) and oxygen saturation (SpO2) nadir were associated with verbal working memory performance, highlighting the potential pathophysiological mechanisms of OSA-induced cognitive deficits.
Conclusions
Verbal working memory impairments associated with OSA may compromise children's learning potentials and neurocognitive development. Early identification of OSA and assessment of the associated neurocognitive deficits are of paramount importance. Reversibility of cognitive deficits after treatment would be a critical outcome indicator. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1115
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume16
Issue number9
Early online date23 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

Citation

Lau, E. Y. Y., Choi, E. W. M., Lai, E. S. K., Lau, K. N. T., Au, C. T., Yung, W. H., & Li, A. M. (2015). Working memory impairment and its associated sleep-related respiratory parameters in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Medicine, 16(9), 1109-1115. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2015.04.025.

Keywords

  • Working memory
  • OSA
  • Neurocognitive
  • Pediatric
  • Hypoxemia
  • Sleep

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