Polysomnographic features of early-onset depression: A meta-analysis

Jura L.S. Augustinavicius, Anosha Zanjani, Konstantine K. Zakzanis, Colin M. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Undiagnosed major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with increased morbidity in children and adolescents. This study evaluated features of sleep macro- and microarchitecture assessed by polysomnography (PSG) as diagnostic markers for MDD in children and adolescents. Methods: MEDLINE, PSYCINFO, EMBASE and PUBMED were searched from their availability dates to March 1st, 2013. The literature search identified 932 abstracts of which 51 studies were retrieved and 28 were included in the analysis. Study design, features of sleep macro- and microarchitecture, demographic and clinical characteristics of study groups were extracted for each study. Results: There were modest differences on sleep macroarchitecture between children and adolescents with MDD and healthy controls. The most robust difference was found in sleep latency, 31% of adolescents with MDD had increased sleep latency. Age, suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric comorbidities were significant predictors of sleep macroarchitecture. Modest differences were found for sleep microarchitecture, intrahemispheric and interhemispheric temporal coherence was decreased in a third of patients with MDD. Age was a significant predictor of sleep microarchitecture. Limitations: This meta-analysis is limited by the small number of studies on sleep macroarchitecture in children with MDD and studies on sleep microarchitecture overall and by the heterogeneity in methodology between studies. Conclusions: This synthetic review of the existing literature is among the largest to quantitatively assess impaired sleep as a diagnostic marker for MDD in children and adolescents. Knowledge of sleep macro- and microarchitecture in early-onset MDD may aid the clinician in developing a treatment strategy for MDD-related sleep symptoms in a subset of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Pediatrics
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep
  • Sleep electroencephalography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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