One Major Cause Of Sudden Infant Deaths Syndrome Revealed
Scientists have revealed one major reason behind sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
These Scientists are from The Children’s Hospital Westmead, Sydney, Australia.
They revealed that SIDS is caused by Butyrylcholinesterase.
This was reported at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic is a platform focused on integrated healthcare, education and research.
According to their web page, SIDS is often referred to as the unexplained death that occurs when children are asleep. It is also known as crib death because infants tend to die while sleeping.
According to the study entitled ‘Butyrylcholinesterase as a potential biomarker for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’, SIDS may be caused by a defect in the brain. This brain defect controls arousal from sleeping and breathing.
The study led by Dr Carmel Harrington said they discovered this by analyzing dried blood samples taken from newborns who died from SIDS and other unknown causes.
“Each SIDS sample was then compared with blood taken from healthy babies. We found the activity of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) was significantly lower in babies who died of SIDS compared to living infants and other non-SIDS infants.
“BChE plays a major role in the brain’s arousal pathway, explaining why SIDS typically occurs during sleep.
“Previously, parents were told SIDS could be prevented if they took proper precautions: laying babies on their backs, not letting them overheat and keeping all toys and blankets out of the crib were a few of the most important preventative steps.
“While safe sleep practices are still important for protecting infants, many children whose parents took every precaution still died from SIDS.
“These parents were left with immense guilt, wondering if they could have prevented their baby’s death.”
Harrington revealed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that she lost her son 29 years ago to SIDS.
She recalled asking what happened to her seemingly healthy baby and no doctor could reply.
In her words:
“Nobody could tell me. They just said it’s a tragedy. But it was a tragedy that didn’t sit well with my scientific brain.”
The researcher said that babies have a strong way to let their caregivers know that all is not well.
“Usually, if a baby is confronted with a life-threatening situation, such as difficulty breathing during sleep because they’re on their tummies, they will arouse and cry out.
“What this research shows is that some babies don’t have this same robust arousal response.
“Now that we know that BChE is involved, we can begin to change the outcome for these babies and make SIDS a thing of the past.”
Harrington said the research is an eye-opener for parents who may have lost their children to SIDS.
“These families can now live with the knowledge that this was not their fault,” she added.
Since the cause has been identified, researchers hope that a solution will be found. There were suggestions for screening tests carried out on children to detect who is at risk of SIDS. Also, provide prevention of the condition.
The researchers say this study would propel research into a cure for SIDS in the future.
Source: Punch HealthWise