The Silent Airway Problem that Can Impact a Child’s Brain Development

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The American Association of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry Presents A Symposium To Stimulate Awareness and Early Intervention of Disturbed Breathing Issues in Children and the Role each Practitioner Must Play in the Solution.

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“We found that children with sleep-disordered breathing were from 40 to 100 percent more likely to develop neurobehavioral problems by age 7, compared with children without such breathing problems,” said Karen Bonuck, Ph.D.

The American Association of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry is a multidisciplinary membership organization dedicated to studying the role of sleep disordered breathing/disturbed breathing in health, brain development and well-being. The AAPMD will host a multidisciplinary symposium for physicians, dentists, healthcare practitioners, educators and the public to stimulate awareness and early intervention of these disturbed breathing issues in children. The event entitled The Silent Airway Problem that Can Impact a Child's Brain Development will take place on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM in the Saklad Auditorium at NYU College of Dentistry.

Disturbed Breathing or Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a general term for breathing difficulties that occur during sleep. Its hallmarks are snoring (which is usually accompanied by mouth breathing) and sleep apnea. SDB reportedly peaks from two to six years of age, but also occurs in younger children and infants. About 1 in 10 children snore regularly and 2 to 4 percent have sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Health and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). Common causes of SDB are enlarged tonsils or adenoids and a study of more than 11,000 children followed for over six years has found that young children with sleep-
disordered breathing are prone to developing behavioral difficulties such as hyperactivity and aggressiveness, as well as emotional symptoms and difficulty with peer relationships, according to research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.1

“We found that children with sleep-disordered breathing were from 40 to 100 percent more likely to develop neurobehavioral problems by age 7, compared with children without such breathing problems,” said Karen Bonuck, Ph.D., author of a March 2012 Pediatrics article, "Sleep Disordered Breathing in a Population-Based Cohort: Behavioral Effects at 4 and 7 Years."

The distinguished panel of experts includes:

Karen Bonuck, PhD: Professor of Family and Social Medicine, and of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Bonuck studies the epidemiology of pediatric sleep problems and their functional effects, particularly in children with developmental disabilities/delays. Her March 2012 Pediatrics article reported a 50% increased risk of social/emotional and behavioral problems among children with early symptoms of sleep disordered breathing. Dr. Bonuck will be discussing her September 2012 study, Pediatric Sleep Disorders and Special Educational Need at 8 Years: A Population-
Based Cohort Study.

Philip Cooper, DDS: Co-Founder, Chief Investigator for Smiles Are Meaningful, Inc., a research organization whose focus is the impact of Sleep Apnea on growth and development in African American Children. Author of, “Why? African American Children Cannot Read”, the negative impact of Sleep Apnea on children’s reading ability. Neurobehavioral Implications of Sleep Disordered Breathing will be the focus of Cooper’s lecture, exploring the neurological co-morbidities; medical/biological and social/economical, resulting from poor sleep regimens and how the “Critical Period”, 3 – 5 years old, in brain development.

William M. Hang, DDS, MSD: International speaker on the Biobloc technique, orthodontics
and the Posterior Airway Space, facial esthetics, and obstructive Sleep Apnea’s relationship to facial development. Dr. Hang will present treatment methods to develop the face forward for growing individuals and to reverse previous retractive orthodontics in adults – the new paradigm to improve the facial balance and the airway.

Ofer Jacobowitz, M.D., PhD. FAASM, FAAOA: Graduated from MIT with an SB degree in life sciences. Ph.D. in Pharmacology and an MD degree from Mount Sinai. Board certified in otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery, Sleep Medicine, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. He is Chair of the sleep-related breathing disorders section of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Inflammation, Swelling & Sleep in Children: The ENT Perspective.

Marc Richard Moeller, BA: Managing Director the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (AOMT). He will teach about how the assessment and treatment of functional and postural disorders of the tongue, lips and other structures by an Orofacial myologist is an essential component of a team approach.

Stephen H. Sheldon, D.O., F.A.A.P.: Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine and Director of Sleep Medicine Center Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Sheldon’s topic of discussion at the symposium: Physiological Basis of Upper Airway Obstruction in the Pediatric Patient; and the traditional treatment for these conditions.

For additional information regarding The Silent Airway Problem that Can Impact a Child's Brain Development symposium including Conference Fees, AAPMD Membership Fees and directions, to download the event brochure, or to register online, please visit

1 “Kids' Abnormal Breathing During Sleep Linked to Increased Risk for Behavioral Difficulties” by Karen Bonuck, Ph.D.Albert, Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University. 2012.

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