Central sleep apnea: Does stabilizing sleep improve it?

Sejal V. Jain, Narong Simakajornboon, Todd M. Arthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Central sleep apnea is not uncommon in children with neurologic disorders. The mechanisms include increased ventilatory chemosensitivity to carbon dioxide level. Conventional treatments include oxygen, noninvasive ventilation, and in patients with heart failure, improving cardiac output. Here, we present a case of a 9-year-old male with Angelman syndrome, epilepsy, insomnia, and central sleep apnea. The patient was initially evaluated for nighttime awakenings and pauses in breathing. Sustained-release melatonin was used to improve his nighttime awakenings. A polysomnography confirmed central sleep apnea. We saw a reduction in arousals and improvement in insomnia with sustained-release melatonin. On a repeat study, central sleep apnea was improved. We hypothesize that sustained-release melatonin, by improving sleep continuity and reducing arousals, might improve central sleep apnea. Studies are needed to test the hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-98
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Angelman syndrome
  • epilepsy
  • sleep apnea
  • sustained-release melatonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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