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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

SUDDEN INFANT DEATH LINKED TO SEROTONIN

SIDS and Serotonin

We've heard many theories about why SIDS occurs. This article seems like they're on to something measurable and possibly treatable. SIDS could be related to actual brain chemistry. Read more:

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They said abnormal levels of serotonin may hamper an infant's breathing, especially in challenging situations, such as breathing in too much exhaled carbon dioxide while sleeping face down.

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CHICAGO - Babies who die from sudden infant death syndrome make low amounts of the message-carrying brain chemical serotonin needed to regulate sleep, breathing and heart rate, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
The finding, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, may help identify babies at risk for SIDS, which each year kills more than 2,300 babies before their first birthday.
They said abnormal levels of serotonin may hamper an infant's breathing, especially in challenging situations, such as breathing in too much exhaled carbon dioxide while sleeping face down.
"We have known for many years that placing infants to sleep on their backs is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of SIDS," Dr. Alan Guttmacher, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded the study.
"The current findings provide important clues to the biological basis of SIDS and may ultimately lead to ways to identify infants most at risk as well as additional strategies for reducing the risk of SIDS for all infants," Guttmacher said in a statement.
In the study, Dr. Hannah Kinney of Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston and colleagues examined brain tissue from babies who died from SIDS and from other causes.
The tissue came from the medulla, a region at the base of the brain that regulates basic functions such as body temperature, breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.
Kinney's team found that serotonin levels were 26 percent lower in tissue from babies who died of SIDS than those who died from other causes, and they also found low levels of the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase, which is needed to make serotonin. 
www.nydailynews.com  

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