Scientists may have found the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Scientists have identified new potential causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), in a new study published Thursday.

The peer-reviewed study, which was published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurologyexamined biological abnormalities in the bodies of 70 infants who died of SIDS.

SIDS is the phenomenon in which an apparently healthy baby dies suddenly before its first birthday. Deaths tend to occur while the baby is sleeping.

The condition, which occurs in 103 out of every 100,000 live births in the United States, is the leading cause of post-neonatal death in the United States. According to the Health Ministry, 45 babies die of SIDS a year in Israel.

What potential cause of SIDS did the researchers find?

In the bodies of infants, the researchers found that there were abnormalities in the serotonin 2A/C receptors. This receptor is responsible for the protective functions of sleep.

Baby (Illustrative). (credit: Ignacio Campo/Unsplash)

Researchers believe that SIDS is the result of abnormal receptor peaking, developmental delays, and external stressors.

An infant is at risk for SIDS when his cardio-respiratory system is not fully developed, he has a biological abnormality and/or he sleeps in a way that creates external stress, according to the researchers.

“The work presented builds on previous work from our lab and others showing abnormalities in the serotonergic system of some SIDS infants,” said study researcher Robin Haynes.

“Although we have identified abnormalities in the serotonin 2A/C receptor in SIDS, the relationship between the abnormalities and the cause of death remains unknown. Much remains to be done to determine the consequence of abnormalities of this receptor in the context of a larger network of serotonin and non-serotonin receptors that protect vital functions of cardiac and respiratory control when put on. to the test. Currently, we have no means of identifying infants with biological abnormalities of the serotonergic system. Thus, adherence to safe sleep practices remains essential.

How to prevent SIDS?

The Ministry of Health has published a guide for parents to protect their baby from SIDS.

The ministry recommends that babies be placed on their backs when falling asleep. Babies should be placed on a hard mattress with a seal of approval. They should also sleep in their parents’ room until the baby is 6 months old, although the ministry stresses that a year would be preferable.

The guide insists that babies’ beds should be empty of everything, including pillows and toys. The baby’s head should be completely uncovered. If you are using a blanket, the blanket should be tucked under the mattress at armpit level.

The ministry recommends that the room be kept at a temperature of 22 to 23 degrees.

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