Chris Davis

Chris Davis

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New Study Finds Possible Reason For Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Female vet with microscope

Photo: Getty Images

Here's today's feel-good story:

A groundbreaking new study has found a way to detect Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in infants by identifying a marker known as Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) which can put an infant more at risk.

The study was done at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and used their Newborn Screening Program using only samples that were approved by parents. The samples were then compared to 10 surviving infants with the same birth date and gender.

“Babies have a very powerful mechanism to let us know when they are not happy. Usually, if a baby is confronted with a life-threatening situation, such as difficulty breathing during sleep because they are 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,” said Dr Carmel Harrington, study lead and Honorary Research Fellow at CHW, who lost her own child to SIDS 29 years ago.

“This has long been thought to be the case, but up to now we didn’t know what was causing the lack of arousal. 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.”

Read more here.

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