Associations between frontal lobe structure, parent-reported obstructive sleep disordered breathing and childhood behavior in the ABCD dataset

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Abstract

Parents frequently report behavioral problems among children who snore. Our understanding of the relationship between symptoms of obstructive sleep disordered breathing (oSDB) and childhood behavioral problems associated with brain structural alterations is limited. Here, we examine the associations between oSDB symptoms, behavioral measures such as inattention, and brain morphometry in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study comprising 10,140 preadolescents. We observe that parent-reported symptoms of oSDB are associated with composite and domain-specific problem behaviors measured by parent responses to the Child Behavior Checklist. Alterations of brain structure demonstrating the strongest negative associations with oSDB symptoms are within the frontal lobe. The relationships between oSDB symptoms and behavioral measures are mediated by significantly smaller volumes of multiple frontal lobe regions. These results provide population-level evidence for an association between regional structural alterations in cortical gray matter and problem behaviors reported in children with oSDB.

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Isaiah, A., Ernst, T., Cloak, C. C., Clark, D. B., & Chang, L. (2021). Associations between frontal lobe structure, parent-reported obstructive sleep disordered breathing and childhood behavior in the ABCD dataset. Nature Communications, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22534-0

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