OBJECTIVES: Sleepwalking is a parasomnia associated with non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and is formally diagnosed using polysomnography (PSG). However, PSG are difficult to perform on children or adolescents due to needed compliance. To understand this condition in youth, few studies have been conducted on a large cohort of youths with a diverse distribution of ages and races to characterize it better in the absence of PSG. The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of sleepwalking in youth, as well as associated demographic and genetic characteristics, using questionnaires in a large pediatric cohort.METHODS: Data from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC) of 7515 youths aged between 8 and 22years were used in analyses. Demographic and clinical data, including age, sex, and race, and genetic data from 2753 African American (AA) and 4762 European American (EA) subjects were investigated. The age-wise prevalence of sleepwalking in AA and EA subjects was evaluated. Finally, race-specific genome-wide association (GWAS) analyses of sleepwalking were also performed (N=155 AA cases and 2598 AA controls; N=512 EA cases and 4250 EA controls).RESULTS: Lifetime history of sleepwalking correlated with male sex and EA race. A genetic risk locus that reached genome-wide significance was detected at rs73450744 on chromosome 18 in AA, but not EA youth.CONCLUSION: The present results suggest that male sex, EA race, and genetic factors may be associated with higher rates of sleepwalking among youth. Future studies should consider these variables to advance understanding of the complex pathogenesis of sleepwalking.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jns.2021.119997
View details for PubMedID 34563919