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February 13, 2006

SIDS Secrets Revealed

UK researchers have a promising new theory about SIDS (over there, they call it "cot death".) Studies have isolated a set of "pacemaker" brain cells that control the impulse to gasp for air when normal breathing has stopped. A defect in these cells, researchers theorize, can cause the backup system to fail, potentially causing death. The idea that SIDS results from an inability to kickstart breathing when it stops isn't new. The discovery here is about the way in which this breathing is regulated, and how it is unique.

"What we have clearly identified is the mechanism that is essential for auto-resuscitation." Fellow researcher, Professor Walter St-John of Dartmouth Medical School in the U.S., said: "Our findings are exciting. They demonstrate that emergency breathing, or gasping, is regulated by different mechanisms than those for normal breathing.

The next step is seeing whether these theories correlate to differences in babies' brains. There are lots of theories about what causes SIDS. Some suspect a variety of different causes. How great would it be if they figured out this mystery? And found a way to prevent it from happening....?

by thenewmoms at 11:40 PM
in baby


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