Sleep important … many children that suffer from chronic snoring or sleep apnoea have been diagnosed with ADHD.
CHILDREN are at risk being overdiagnosed with ADHD when all they need is a good night’s sleep, experts say.
Around one in 10 Australian children suffer from chronic snoring or sleep apnoea that disrupts their breathing. “Nearly 50 per cent of chronic snorers or those with sleep apnoea have been diagnosed with ADHD,”says study author Dr Vandana Katyal .What they may be needing most is a good night’s sleep.”
According to Dr. Harold Levinson, research conducted without a significant clinical perspective may lead to superficial and even misleading conclusions. Although sleep deprivation can trigger symptoms mimicking ADHD, it can also intensify the symptoms of a preexisting ADHD. Symptomatic intensity would then secondarily result in higher recognitions and diagnoses of ADHD. Also ignored is the possibility that the underlying causation of ADHD may secondarily impair normal breathing reflexes, especially during sleep, resulting in sleep disturbances other than those primarily due to enlarged tonsils, adenoids, etc.
Since Levinson found a cerebellar-vestibular dysfunction underlying ADHD and dyslexia, many coexisting motor and other reflex swallowing and breathing symptoms became readily understandable. Might not this inner-ear hypothesis also explain why a number of studies in the US and UK, including one which found 13-year-old children with low academic performance, were more likely to have snored during their early years. Importantly, reflex breathing impairments may secondarily intensify structural abnormalities sufficiently to trigger apnea.
About Harold Levinson, M.D.
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author.
For more information, call 1(800) 334-7323 or
Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net