Slow EEG Oscillation to Characterize Pediatric Sleep Apnea and Associated Cognitive Impairments

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2022 Jul:2022:2957-2960. doi: 10.1109/EMBC48229.2022.9871469.


Previous studies have suggested that the typical slow oscillations (SO) characteristics during sleep could be modified in the presence of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Here, we evaluate whether these modifications are significant and if they may reflect cognitive deficits. We recorded the overnight electroencephalogram (EEG) of 294 pediatric subjects (5-9 years old) using eight channels. Then, we divided the cohort in three OSA severity groups (no OSA, mild, and moderate/severe) to characterize the corresponding SO using the spectral maximum in the slow wave sleep (SWS) band δ1: 0.1-2 Hz (Maxs o), as well as the frequency where this maximum is located (FreqMaxso). Spectral entropy (SpecEn) from δ1 was also included in the analyses. A correlation analysis was performed to evaluate associations of these spectral measures with six OSA-related clinical variables and six cognitive scores. Our results indicate that Maxso could be used as a moderate/severe OSA biomarker while providing useful information regarding verbal and visuo-spatial impairments, and that FreqMaxso emerges as an even more robust indicator of visuospatial function. In addition, we uncovered novel insights regarding the ability of SpecEn in δ1 to characterize OSA-related disruption of sleep homeostasis. Our findings suggest that the information from SO may be useful to automatically characterize moderate/severe pediatric OSA and its cognitive consequences. Clinical Relevance- This study contributes towards reaching an objective quantifiable and automated assessment of the potential cognitive consequences of pediatric sleep apnea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnosis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / etiology
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Humans
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Sleep, Slow-Wave*