Sleep problems may affect cognitive function of children with chronic kidney disease

Sleep problems and fatigue may affect the cognitive function of children with chronic kidney disease. The findings come from a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2019 November 5–November 10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Children with chronic kidney disease face a higher risk for experiencing neurocognitive deficits. To examine whether sleep problems or fatigue may play a role, Rebecca Johnson, PhD (Children's Mercy Kansas City) and her colleagues examined clinical trial data related to fatigue, sleep disturbance, low energy, and trouble sleeping in 1,030 children with mild-to-moderate chronic kidney disease.

Among the children in the study, 26% experienced fatigue, 30% reported sleep disturbances, 39% experienced trouble sleeping, and 52% had low energy.

Sleep disturbance, trouble sleeping, and low energy were significantly associated with worse parent ratings of overall executive functions (cognitive processes responsible for control of behavior, such as attentional control, inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility).

Fatigue and sleep problems were also associated with more parent-reported emotional and behavioral symptoms.

Fatigue and sleep problems are prevalent among children with chronic kidney disease and may affect neurocognitive and emotional-behavioral functioning,

Assessment of sleep problems and fatigue, interventions to improve sleep, and treating medical co-morbidities may promote more positive emotional-behavioral and neurocognitive outcomes for children with chronic kidney disease."

Dr. Rebecca Johnson

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