SIDS – Babies
with abnormal Serotonin Levels may cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
March 8th, 2006
Baby should sleep
on their back
believe that they have found strong evidence that there is a disturbance
of specific neurochemical activity in the brains of infants that cause
sudden infant death syndrome. The researchers from the University of
Chicago and colleagues first reported their findings in the March 8th
issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
According to the
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sudden Infant Death
Syndrome (SIDS) will be the cause of death for approximately 3,000
babies in the United States. SIDS is the primary cause of death for
babies under the age of one.
discovered was that the serotonin levels in the brain need to be at a
normal level. When the serotonin levels are not normal it fails to
trigger a gasping mechanism when the baby needs air. The serotonin
during an event of hypoxia will trigger pacemaker cells that will
restart the breathing process as needed.
"This confirms our
previous studies," said lead author Jan-Marino Ramirez, a professor of
organismal biology and anatomy. "Now we've just better defined the
players in the system."
"It indicates that
if there's a problem with serotonin, the gasping is gone," Ramirez said.
"And when these children don't gasp, they don't wake up."
If a baby seems
otherwise healthy, it is only when the baby is sleeping that the airway
is blocked and the child is not receiving enough oxygen. The baby would
need to have the sodium-drive pacemaker to initiate a gasp for air.
This gasping would wake the baby, causing it to move or cry and start
"Gasping is an
important arousal or auto-resuscitation mechanism." Ramirez said.
"During normal breathing, it's a complicated network. However, the
network becomes more vulnerable to situations like hypoxia, because
under these conditions, respiration relies on only one group of
pacemakers that become the critical drivers of [breathing] rhythm."
It is possible
that people that suffer with other conditions that have serotonin level
disturbances could have been survivors of SIDS as a baby. These
conditions are depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit
It is recommended
that a baby sleeps on its back without any stuffed animals or fluffy
bedding in a safety approved crib. The crib should not have overly big
gaps between the rods that keep the baby from rolling out. Your crib
should be functioning correctly and not be broken. You should tuck
the blanket under the mattress. Take baby toys out of the crib.
Sharing a bed with an infant may also increase a risk for SIDS. Don't
smoke around the baby as this may increase the risk for SIDS. Use
a baby monitor when your baby sleeps to listen for any noises or have
the crib in the same room as you. Ask your pediatrician for tips for
preventing SIDS at your next doctor visit.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Pregnancy
Keywords and misspellings: priatal prenatal pre-natal S.I.D.S.
suden infent deth sindrome cot death crib death suffication infantile SIDS
prevention and saftey pevent sids