SIDS: Is Hope Finally on the Horizon?

  • 22-03-10

empty_crib__250.jpgBy Nicole Ballinger

According to a recent report in The Journal of the American Medical Association, a team of doctors from the Children’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School conducted autopsies of 41 babies who died from SIDS and other causes. The result was the detection of brain abnormalities in SIDS victims (sudden infant death syndrome).

These researchers found abnormalities in the victims’ nerve cells that make and use serotonin. Serotonin is thought to help coordinate breathing and sensitivity to carbon dioxide. When babies sleep face down, it is believed they breathe in exhaled carbon monoxide, taking in less oxygen. A rise in carbon dioxide activates nerve cells in the brainstem, to stop most babies from asphyxiating.

But the researchers believe that a baby who dies from SIDS has defects in his or her serotonin system, which impairs the reflex to wake up and turn over.

These doctors now hope to develop a diagnostic test to identify infants at risk for SIDS. They also hope to develop a treatment to protect infants who have these abnormalities.

Read more here


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SIDS: Is Hope Finally on the Horizon?

  • News Item
  • March 22, 2010

empty_crib__250.jpgBy Nicole Ballinger

According to a recent report in The Journal of the American Medical Association, a team of doctors from the Children’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School conducted autopsies of 41 babies who died from SIDS and other causes. The result was the detection of brain abnormalities in SIDS victims (sudden infant death syndrome).

These researchers found abnormalities in the victims’ nerve cells that make and use serotonin. Serotonin is thought to help coordinate breathing and sensitivity to carbon dioxide. When babies sleep face down, it is believed they breathe in exhaled carbon monoxide, taking in less oxygen. A rise in carbon dioxide activates nerve cells in the brainstem, to stop most babies from asphyxiating.

But the researchers believe that a baby who dies from SIDS has defects in his or her serotonin system, which impairs the reflex to wake up and turn over.

These doctors now hope to develop a diagnostic test to identify infants at risk for SIDS. They also hope to develop a treatment to protect infants who have these abnormalities.

Read more here

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