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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: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday May 11, @03:18PM (1 child)

    by Freeman (732) on Wednesday May 11, @03:18PM (#1244068) Journal

    Being out of sight in the kitchen and having fallen from the top of the refrigerator was one that I'd never heard, but one that I suddenly was very acutely aware of. When my wife told me that our 18 month old had climbed on top of the fridge. At that point, I was a bit less worried about it. Probably due to the chronic lack of sleep that a child brings and not having actually witnessed it myself.

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 11, @05:58PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 11, @05:58PM (#1244122)

    They survive some amazingly scary looking things, and sadly occasionally die for stuff that seems near impossible.

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