Severe Onychophagia and Finger Mutilation Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
1Penn State Sleep Research and Treatment Center; 2Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology; 3Department of Psychiatry, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA
Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lead to important neurobehavioral consequences including cognitive deficits, hyperactivity/inattention, daytime sleepiness, and mood disturbances. Interestingly, the potential role of OSA in the pathogenesis of impulse-control disorders such as nail biting (onychophagia) is currently unknown. We present a case of a man with severe onychophagia and biting-induced finger mutilation that was completely resolved after diagnosis and treatment of severe OSA. Accordingly, this report represents an important clinical observation that suggests a connection between sleep physiology and the neurobiological circuits implicated in the regulation of impulse-control behaviors. Further research in this area may improve our current understanding of the neurobehavioral consequences of untreated OSA.
Nino G; Singareddy R. Severe onychophagia and finger mutilation associated with obstructive sleep apnea. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(4):379-381.
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