• A study has found that children who snore frequently could have behavior problems and brain development issues
  • Findings revealed that frequent snorers have thinner gray matter in their brain, including parts responsible for impulse cogntrol and reasonin
  • Researchers advise parents to take snoring seriously when it comes to their children

A study has linked frequent snoring in children to structural brain changes as well as behavioral issues.

Researchers studied the MRI brain images of more than 10,000 children aged 9 to 10 years old in the United States. The team also utilized data from those children's parents on how often their kids would snore. Additionally, the researchers provided a checklist that they used to measure several different areas of childhood behavior.

Findings revealed that children who snore habitually (about three or more times per week) had thinner gray matter in their brain, including parts that are responsible for impulse control and reasoning, HuffPost reported.

Dr. Amal Isaiah, one of the study's researchers, explained in the HuffPost report what their findings suggested.

“These are parts of the brain responsible for behavioral regulation. ... It applies to maintenance of attention and what we call ‘cognitive flexibility,’ which is basically regulation of one’s own behavior,” he explained. Dr. Isaiah is an associate professor of otorhinolaryngology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The doctor added that frequent snoring could suggest increasing severity of problem behaviors.

“I can’t say there is a cause and effect here,” Dr. Isaiah said. “But from a biological perspective, if you think about snoring it means that air is not flowing freely.”

This could mean that those children could be waking up frequently, or it could actually change the way children’s blood carries oxygen to their brains, which would suggest they’re not getting enough of it. And it’s possible that either of those mechanisms (or both) could be behind the link between changes in brain structure and children’s behavior, the doctor hypothesized.

The study's findings offer parents another reason to take snoring seriously when it comes to their children. Other studies have also suggested the same, including a study by Beebe, et al.

Ultimately, the research indicated that parents of snorers should not panic, but should also not ignore the issue altogether.

“You don’t need to run to treatment right now, but it’s something you should raise with the pediatrician,” Dr. Isaiah said.

Heart Attack Risk Increases By Sleeping Too Little Or Too Much Image by emrah özaras from Pixabay