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Childhood parasomnias such as sleepwalking and bedwetting may persist into adolescence
Date:6/6/2010

WESTCHESTER, IL Although incident parasomnias are uncommon as children enter adolescence, parasomnias present in preadolescents may persist into the teen years, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 7, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas, at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Results indicate that the rate of persistence after five years was 29 percent for children with bedwetting and 27 percent for children with sleepwalking. The overall prevalence for these parasomnias was 2.6 and 3.1 percent respectively. The study also found that the incidence rate for new cases of sleepwalking was 3.2 percent during the follow-up period, while the incidence rate for new cases of bedwetting was less than one percent.

"Current wisdom was that most of these behaviors remitted by adolescence," said principal investigator Stuart F. Quan, MD, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. "Our data indicate that in a number of children, they will persist. Because parasomnias such as sleepwalking can be injurious as children grow older, parents need to be cognizant and be prepared to protect them from injury."

Quan added that bedwetting can be an embarrassing problem for adolescents. However, a variety of treatments are available, and in most cases the problem will abate by adulthood. Parents can get help for their child's or teen's sleep problems at an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center.

The study involved 310 children in the Tucson Children's Assessment of Sleep Apnea Study (TuCASA), a prospective cohort study that enrolled children between the ages of 6 and 11 years for an initial assessment. The children were studied again after a mean interval of 4.6 years. At both time points parents were asked to complete comprehensive sleep habits surveys.

Results also show that all cases of sleep terrors remitted by adolescence.
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Contact: Kathleen McCann
kmccann@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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