Peculiar Sleep Modifications Seen in Asperger Syndrome

Quantification of sleep EEG oscillations may be correlated with the degree of mental ability

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome have peculiar alterations in their cyclic alternating pattern, according to research published in the November issue of Sleep.

Oliviero Bruni, M.D., of the University "La Sapienza" in Rome, Italy, and colleagues studied eight children with Asperger syndrome, 10 children with autism and 12 healthy control children.

The researchers found that Asperger syndrome was associated with a higher prevalence of difficulties in falling asleep as well as daytime sleepiness. Their cyclic alternating pattern analysis found that children with Asperger syndrome show an increase in the cyclic alternating pattern rate in slow wave sleep compared to children with autism, and have a cyclic alternating pattern rate in slow wave sleep similar that of normal controls. In children with Asperger syndrome, they also found that verbal IQ had a significant positive correlation with the total cyclic alternating pattern rate and the cyclic alternating pattern rate in slow wave sleep.

"To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first attempt to evaluate sleep patterns of children with Asperger syndrome taking into consideration sleep architecture and cyclic alternating pattern," the authors state.

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