About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Snoring in Children Linked to Brain Changes

Snoring in Children Linked to Brain Changes

Font : A-A+

  • Children who snore regularly are more likely to develop behavioral problems and learning disabilities
  • Snoring children may be experiencing gray matter loss in their brains
  • Study highlights the need to properly diagnose snoring abnormalities in children

Children who regularly snore in their sleep may experience gray matter loss in the brain and behavioral issues like lack of focus, hyperactivity, and learning difficulties as a result, reveals a new study from researchers at the University of Maryland. The findings of the study are published in Nature Communications.

Earlier studies have shown that habitual snoring is characterized by recurrent episodes of narrowing of the upper airway known as obstructive sleep disordered breathing, which leads to intermittent hypoxia (low oxygen in tissues) and disturbance in sleep pattern.


The present study focuses on the impact of habitual snoring in the structure of brain in children and its consequences on their behavior.

Obstructive Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children

Obstructive sleep-disordered breathing is a group of conditions associated with snoring. In children it is characterized by resistance to breathing during sleep, resulting in snoring. Habitual snoring can influence the child's neurological development.

"This is the largest study of its kind detailing the association between snoring and brain abnormalities," said study lead author Amal Isaiah, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Snoring and Brain Changes in Children

The long-term Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study about brain development and child health in the US involved children aged 9 to 10 years, and they scrutinized MRI images of more than 10,000 children who were considered to be habitual snorers by their parents.

The finding revealed that children who snored three or more times per week had thinner graymatter in the frontal lobes of their brains. The frontal lobes of the brain are responsible for higher reasoning skills and impulse control.

The thinner cortex correlated with the behavioral changes linked to a severe form of sleep disordered breathing called sleep apnea. The snoring habit affects the breathing pattern and oxygen supply to the brain due to disturbed sleep in night. These brain changes focus the attention to diagnose and treat snoring abnormalities in children

"These brain changes are similar to what you would see in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children have loss of cognitive control which is additionally associated with disruptive behavior," added Amal Isaiah.

What Causes Snoring in Children?

The most common risk factors include:
  • Large or swollen tonsils and adenoids
  • Being overweight Seasonal allergies and asthma
  • Air pollution

Tips to Reduce Snoring in Children

The findings point to sleep-disordered breathing as a potential reversible cause of behavioral problems, suggesting that children might routinely be screened for snoring.

  1. Associations between frontal lobe structure, parent-reported obstructive sleep disordered breathing and childhood behavior in the ABCD dataset: Amal Isaiah et al: Nature Communications 2021 - (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/snoring/snoring-children)

Source: Medindia

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Jayashree Gopinath. (2021, April 23). Snoring in Children Linked to Brain Changes. Medindia. Retrieved on May 16, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/snoring-in-children-linked-to-brain-changes-200904-1.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Jayashree Gopinath. "Snoring in Children Linked to Brain Changes". Medindia. May 16, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/snoring-in-children-linked-to-brain-changes-200904-1.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Jayashree Gopinath. "Snoring in Children Linked to Brain Changes". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/snoring-in-children-linked-to-brain-changes-200904-1.htm. (accessed May 16, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Jayashree Gopinath. 2021. Snoring in Children Linked to Brain Changes. Medindia, viewed May 16, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/snoring-in-children-linked-to-brain-changes-200904-1.htm.


News A-Z
What's New on Medindia
World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
Drinking This Popular Beverage May Drop Dementia Risk
Worst Mistakes Parents Make When Talking to Kids
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Snoring Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Sleep Disturbances In Women Tonsillectomy Height and Weight-Kids Insomnia Ageing and Sleep Brain Brain Facts 

Most Popular on Medindia

Color Blindness Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine) Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Indian Medical Journals Daily Calorie Requirements Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Vent Forte (Theophylline) Drug Side Effects Calculator

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use