SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) has been plaguing parents from the beginning of time with a condition that kills babies (usually from one month to one year) without any warning or apparent reason.
The recent findings suggest that SIDS may have a biological cause, one connected to an abnormality in the brain. In future, doctors are hoping that this means that infants can be tested, and the risks reduced.
David Paterson, a neuroscientist at the Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School commented:
“To a certain extent, this demystifies SIDS and indicates that it’s a disease process…it’s not this mystical event that happens for no apparent reason.”
Researchers in the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, located defects in the area of the infant brain that controls breathing, blood pressure and arousal from sleep.
The studies were done from brain autopsies of babies who had died from SIDS, comparing them with nabies who had died from other causes. The SIDS babies had brain stem abnormalities that affected their breathing due to the bodie’s inability to regulate seratonin, which controls vital bodily functions like these.
In effect, these defects are linked to 75% of SIDS deaths.