In adults, there is a significant disruption of sleep patterns in blind individuals. As yet no one has formally studied the sleep and biological rhythm problems in children who have impaired vision. Caitlyn Wilkinson, a Masters student is currently conducting a study which involves actigraphy, melatonin measures and sleep assessments in children who are visually impaired in the hope that a better understanding of these problems will emerge. It is well recognised that social, educational and many other facets of life are disrupted by circadian rhythm problems and we hope to improve these with this ongoing research.
Children who have fetal alcohol syndrome as a consequence of parental alcohol consumption have many challenges and difficulties. These are compounded by significant sleep disruption which is extremely common in this population group. Sheri Goril a masters student is currently working in conjunction with St. Michael’s Hospital in performing a study evaluating the sleep and biological rhythms of children with fetal alcohol syndrome. At the Youthdale Child and Adolescent Sleep Center we have had a number of dramatic clinical successes. In the Youthdale Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic we have had a number of dramatic successes with treatment interventions for these children much to the benefit of the child and the parent or foster parent.
We are actively looking for referrals of such children at this point in time.
Maya Capua, a first year medical student is researching the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and patients with adenoid-tonsillar hypertrophy. This project is coming to an end and has led to an enhanced understanding of the role of sleep and ENT assessments in dealing with children who have breathing related problems at night.
The field of paediatric sleep medicine is relatively speaking in its infancy. Asal Shahmoradi, is carrying out a study in normal children to establish what their normal distribution of sleepiness is in this population. There are standard tests to measure sleepiness which are applied in adults and children. In adults the norms have been well established for many years but in children there is not sufficient normative data.
We are keen to evaluate children who do not have sleep problems to add to this body of knowledge about what is normal in children and what is not.
Children wishing to participate who might see this as part of a science project or personal learning experience should contact the clinic at 416 703 0505.
Depression is an extremely common problem in children which is unrecognised. Approximately 1 in 20 children and adolescents suffer from depression. At the Youthdale Sleep Center we often see children who are referred for sleep related problems who turn out to have mood problems and sometimes are directly referred patients with depression. We currently have a research program treating children between 7 and 17 for mood problems.
For further information about his program please contact Dr. Naheed Hossain at 416 603 5723.