Kids Behave and Sleep Better After Tonsillectomy

Armen Hareyan's picture
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In fact, about half of the children in the study who were found to have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder before tonsil surgery no longer met criteria for this diagnosis one year later. Other cognitive and behavioral issues also improved.

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On the whole, the 78 children who had their tonsils out were much more likely than a comparison group of 27 children to have had behavior and sleep problems at the start of the study. But by the end of the study, tests showed little difference between the two groups.

The research paper is published online in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics by a team from the University of Michigan Health System. Data were collected from rigorous tests of sleep and breathing at night, and attention and behavior during the day. The results support previous observations of a link between children's sleep-related breathing problems - such as snoring and breathing interruptions called apneas - and daytime behavior problems.

The researchers caution that their results do not yet prove cause and effect, and that tonsillectomy is not usually a "cure" for ADHD. But, they say, the growing body of evidence on this issue suggests that a significant number of children with inattention, hyperactivity, or sleepiness during the day

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