New data have shown that treatment with melt-in-the-mouth desmopressin (MINIRIN Melt) improved sleep patterns and psychological functioning, including attention problems and memory, in children with nocturnal enuresis. The negative impact of bedwetting on children’s neuropsychological functioning was also shown. The data from a study by researchers at the University Hospital Ghent, Belgium, were presented at the 25th annual Congress of the European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU) in Innsbruck, Austria.

Results were based on a study of 30 bedwetting children aged 6 to 16 years old who were tested before and after 6 months of desmopressin treatment. Data showed that an improvement in bedwetting following 6 months of desmopressin treatment corresponded with a significant reduction in sleep disruption, as demonstrated by fewer periodic limbic movements per sleep hour (PLMS index) (p<0.001) and reduced cortical arousals (p<0.01).

In addition, bedwetting children showed significant improvements in their psychological functioning after 6 months of desmopressin treatment. There were significant reductions in parent-reported attention problems (p<0.01), and both internalizing (p<0.05) and externalizing (p<0.01) problems. Furthermore, there were significant improvements in quality of life (p<0.01), executive functioning (p<0.01), and auditive memory (p<0.01).

Further data from the study presented at ESPU identified which psychological problems were present in bedwetting children as well as which of these problems were related to which specific clinical symptoms. In fact, 80% of bedwetting children in the study had at least one psychological, motor, or neurological difficulty. A positive correlational relationship was shown between the number of wet nights a child experienced and the presence of social problems and anxiety/depression problems. Conversely, a negative correlational relationship was shown between number of wet nights and social self-esteem.

Commenting on these findings, Charlotte Van Herzeele, clinical psychologist, Department of Pediatric Nephrology/Urology, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium, says in a release, “We know that bedwetting has a negative impact on the lives of both children and their families. However, these new data suggest that the impact is more profound than previously thought, highlighting the need for parents to seek medical help for their children and explore available treatment options.”

Dr Karlien Dhondt, child psychiatrist, Pediatric Sleep Centre, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium, says, “The age at which children are most likely to suffer from bedwetting is a crucial time in their psychological and neurocognitive development. This study has shown that treating bedwetting can improve a child’s sleep quality and psychological functioning on a number of parameters.”

Up to 16% of children aged 5 years frequently wet the bed. After allergic disorders, bedwetting is the most common chronic childhood condition. While an extremely common disorder, bedwetting can have a significant psychological impact on those affected and an economic burden on their families.

Desmopressin melt is indicated for the treatment of bedwetting in 82 countries, and it is marketed under several names, including MINIRIN Melt, Desmomelt, and DDAVP Melt.