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posted by janrinok on Tuesday May 10, @05:43PM   Printer-friendly

A marker that could help identify babies at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has been discovered by Sydney researchers.

The study conducted by The Children's Hospital Westmead confirmed what had long been suspected — that SIDS victims were unable to wake themselves up — but it went one step further by providing the why.

The enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) plays a major role in the "brain's arousal pathway" and was found at "significantly lower" levels in babies who die of SIDS.

[...] "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.


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, @07:54PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, @07:54PM (#1243908)

    The "back to sleep" movement had one harmful effect: an explosion in the number of cases of plagiocephaly.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiocephaly [wikipedia.org]

    In typical fashion, medicine creates a problem, denies the problem, and eventually someone comes up with a treatment for the problem medicine created:

    https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/rehabilitation/plagiocephaly-helmets [uofmhealth.org]

    Image:
    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/33/fb/f8/33fbf8734e2064c69ba15a4f5c582a2a.jpg [pinimg.com]

    This happened to my firstborn children who were twins.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 11, @11:05AM (1 child)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 11, @11:05AM (#1244016)

    Every medical intervention, no matter how benign, carries risks of significant side effects. Even (perhaps especially) vaccines. They are all risk vs benefit decisions, and decisions are usually better based on past observations than projections of what people think will happen in the future.

    --
    Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @12:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @12:40AM (#1244223)

      I just wanted to clarify that my first two kids got helmets because I knew their doc was full of it when he didn't bring up their misshapen heads and when I did, insisted that the problem would go away on its own, or maybe with just rotating their resting head position (while still on their backs). He could not admit that "back to sleep" was at fault. Independent research (thanks, Internet!) turned up the (at the time) new solution of helmets. They look fine now, but one has a slightly off skull shape (a bit more triangular than oval when viewed from the top, but symmetrical) that is not immediately evident until you try to find a bike helmet that fits.

      Never let a doctor try to buffalo you out of what you see and your common sense. They can push a "company line" with the best of them. Remember, "best medical practice" goes in fads, unfortunately.