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Children's Sleep Disturbance Scale in Differentiating Neurological Disorders

  • Author Footnotes
    1 A.H. and R.C. were equally responsible for the work described in this article as first authors.
    Rony Cohen
    Footnotes
    1 A.H. and R.C. were equally responsible for the work described in this article as first authors.
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Center, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petach Tikva, Israel

    Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 A.H. and R.C. were equally responsible for the work described in this article as first authors.
    Ayelet Halevy
    Footnotes
    1 A.H. and R.C. were equally responsible for the work described in this article as first authors.
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Center, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petach Tikva, Israel

    Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for articles by this author
  • Avinoam Shuper
    Correspondence
    Communications should be addressed to: Dr. Shuper; Department of Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Center; Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel; Petah Tiqwa 49202, Israel.
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Center, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petach Tikva, Israel

    Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 A.H. and R.C. were equally responsible for the work described in this article as first authors.

      Abstract

      Background

      We use the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC) routinely as a tool for evaluating children's sleep quality in our pediatric neurology clinic. We analyzed at its ability to detect sleep disturbances distinctive to selected neurological disorders.

      Patients

      One-hundred and eighty-six children (age range 2-18 years) who were evaluated by the SDSC questionnaire were divided into three groups according to their principal diagnosis: epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or others. Their responses were analyzed.

      Results

      The average frequency of abnormal total sleep score was 26.9%. The most frequent sleep disorders were excessive somnolence (25.3%), initiating and maintaining sleep (24.7%), and arousal/nightmares (23.1%). There were no significant group differences for total scores or sleep disorder–specific scores; although a sleep–wake transition disorder was more frequent among children with epilepsy (31%). A literature search revealed that the frequency of abnormal total scores in several neurological disorders (e.g., epilepsy, cerebral palsy) ranges between 20% and 30%.

      Conclusions

      The mechanism underlying sleep disturbances in many neurological disorders may be unrelated to that of the primary disease but rather originate from nonspecific or environmental factors (e.g., familial/social customs and habits, temperament, psychological parameters). Although the SDSC is noninformative for studying the effect of a specific neurological disorder on sleep, we still recommend its implementation for screening for sleep disturbances in children with neurological abnormalities.

      Keywords

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