To review the literature on sleep changes and brain function in children with microcephaly due to Zika virus.
Systematic review conducted in the databases MEDLINE (PubMed), Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, EMBASE, LILACS, and SciELO and the grey databases Google Scholar and OpenGrey.
Ten Brazilian primary studies with observational research design were included. These were published between 2017 and 2020 with 516 children with microcephaly due to Zika virus infection aged 4 months to 4 years. Out of these, 4 investigated qualitative aspects of sleep using the questionnaires Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire or Infant Sleep Questionnaire and 6 investigated changes in brain activities during sleep using the Electroencephalogram or Video-Electroencephalogram exams. The children’s quality of sleep was not compromised in most studies. Changes in brain activity during sleep were frequent, with epileptogenic activity being a common finding among the studies.
The quality of sleep of children with microcephaly due to Zika virus has shown to be similar to that of children with typical development and the presented behavioral changes may be related to changes in electric brain activity.