Sleep-Related Rhythmic Movement Disorder in Young Children with Down Syndrome: Prevalence and Clinical Features
Sleep-related Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD) affects around 1% of UK pre-school children. Little is known about RMD in Down syndrome (DS). We aimed to determine: (a) the prevalence of RMD in children with DS aged 1.5–8 years; (b) phenotypic and sleep quality differences between children with DS and RMD and sex- and age-matched DS controls; and (c) night-to-night variability in rhythmic movements (RMs). Parents who previously reported RMs from a DS research registry of 202 children were contacted. If clinical history suggested RMD, home videosomnography (3 nights) was used to confirm RMs and actigraphy (5 nights) was used to assess sleep quality. Phenotype was explored by demographic, strengths and difficulties, Q-CHAT-10/social communication and life events questionnaires. Eight children had confirmed RMD. Minimal and estimated maximal prevalence were 4.10% and 15.38%, respectively. Sleep efficiency was significantly lower in RMD-cases (69.1%) versus controls (85.2%), but there were no other phenotypic differences. There was considerable intra-individual night-to-night variability in RMs. In conclusion, RMD has a high prevalence in children with DS, varies from night to night and is associated with poor sleep quality but, in this small sample, no daytime phenotypic differences were found compared to controls. Children with DS should be screened for RMD, which is amenable to treatment.