Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment which can improve neurocognitive performance and sleep patterns in adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, the effect of PAP therapy on neurocognitive, behavioral and sleep patterns in school-aged children with OSA is not well known. The goal of this innovative study is to conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, trial which will determine the effects of PAP therapy on neurocognitive and behavioral patterns and sleep architecture in children with OSA. A battery of neurocognitive tests and parent behavioral rating assessments will be given to 60 school-aged children with OSA before, after 3 months and again after 6 months of treatment with PAP therapy only; or 3 months of PAP placebo use followed by 3 months of PAP therapy. Full polysomnography and PAP titration sleep studies will be performed following a night of adaptation sleep in a sleep laboratory at all three time points. Compliance to PAP therapy will be monitored on a daily basis with a remote internet-linked communicator that is attached to the participant's PAP pressure generator. The hypothesis of this ground-breaking project is that 3 months of continuous compliance to a regimen of PAP therapy will result in significant improvement in neurocognitive and behavioral patterns and that sleep architecture will be positively changed to become more reflective of normative values for school-aged children. The results of this innovative and ground-breaking study will have far-reaching effects for sleep clinicians and other health care providers in support of the continued use of PAP therapy as a treatment for OSA and to inform the health-care community about the efficacy of PAP therapy on neurocognition and behavior patterns in school-aged children with OSA.
- relevance: Obstructive sleep apnea is a problem for a large number of children and can result in problems with thinking patterns; behaviors and sleep if left untreated. Little is known about how positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy might help children who need treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. We will investigate how PAP therapy might be able to improve thinking patterns; behavior and sleep problems in children with obstructive sleep apnea.