Author(s): De Giorgis GF, Nonnis E, Crocioni F, Gregori P, Rosini MP,
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Abstract The maturational patterns of 'tracé alternant' (TA) and sleep spindles obtained from 16 early detected phenylketonuric (PKU) children during their first months of life were compared with others that were evaluated in recordings taken from 42 controls of the same age group. The TA maturation evolved significantly later in the PKU group than in the control group during the 5th-8th week (the TA score for the PKU group was 64\% vs. 10\% in the control group, P < 0.001). Afterwards, during the 9th-12th week the score for the PKU group was 27\% vs. 0\% in the controls (P < 0.002). The sleep spindle evolution score also matured significantly later in the PKU than the control group: the score was 31\% in PKU children vs. 85\% in controls for the 5th-8th week of age (P < 0.01), and it was 66\% vs. 96\% for the 9th-12th week (P < 0.02). After the 12th week, TA pattern could not be detected, and spindles reached complete maturation in the PKU children as well. Our results show a consistent delay in the maturation of TA and spindle scores in PKU children. This trend of delay is parallel to the plasma phenylalanine normalization, but not necessarily dependent only on it. In conclusion, we suggest that studies on the critical maturational periods of different sleep components (TA and sleep spindles) might provide a sensitive tool for early diagnosis of neurophysiological brain alterations during the first trimester of life in a population of children "at risk'.
This article was published in Brain Dev
and referenced in Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology