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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


NUNES, Magda Lahorgue  and  BRUNI, Oliviero. The genetics of sleep disorders in childhood and adolescence. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol.84, n.4, suppl., pp.S27-S32. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To review the literature regarding the genetics of sleep disorders in childhood and adolescence. SOURCES: Articles published in the past 5 years were searched on MEDLINE using the keywords sleep and genetics. Abstracts were then analyzed. Classical articles with the first description of genes were also included. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: We often find familial recurrence in many sleep disorders. However, gene loci were discovered for only a few of them. We describe sleep disorders transmitted by genetic heritance and also those in that, although a gene was not found, familial recurrence is high. CONCLUSION: Although most of the sleep disorders do not have by now an identified molecular basis, modern techniques are being increasingly applied to determine the contribution of genes to sleep and its associated disorders. The clinical importance of these discoveries may relate not only to improving diagnostic methods but also as a target for drug development.

Keywords : Sleep; genetics; narcolepsy; restless leg syndrome; parasomnias; childhood.

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