New SIDS research shows promise, but not a silver bullet, experts say

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS): Groundbreaking research by Australian scientists that has identified a potential biomarker to detect babies at higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may not be a magic bullet and it may take a long time to figure out. disease.

SIDS is the unexplained death of an apparently healthy child under one year of age during a period of sleep. There is no immediate or obvious cause of death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts don’t know which babies are at risk for SIDS or what causes it. As a result, parents of infants who died of unexplained causes are often the center of suspicion, which can make them even more guilty and bereaved than they already are.

A team from Westmead Children’s Hospital (CHW) has identified butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), thought to be involved in neuronal function, as the biochemical marker that may help prevent death in infants.

The results, published in The Lancet’s eBioMedicine, showed that BChE levels were significantly lower in babies who died subsequently from SIDS compared to living controls and other infant deaths.

However, according to Rachel Moon, a researcher studying SIDS at the University of Virginia, the renewed interest in the study is understandable, but not warranted, The Verge reported.

“There’s nothing definitive about it,” Moon reportedly said.

She noted that the study was very small – it included blood samples from 67 infants who died and 10 who survived.

Moon said the study results don’t necessarily prove the enzyme is responsible for SIDS or plays a role in infant death.

And even though there was a statistical difference between the levels of the enzyme between the two groups of infants, there was some overlap between them. That would make it difficult to design an accurate blood test to check whether an infant had levels of the SIDS-linked enzyme, Moon said.

Dr. Gabrina Dixon, director of advancing diversity in academic pediatrics at Children’s National in Washington, said the study was interesting, CNN reported.

“But, I wouldn’t call it a thing yet. It could be promising for future research, but it’s such a small number of children in this study, you need a lot more numbers to say that’s true. is it.”

First Candle, a national organization focused on ending sleep-related infant deaths and supporting families, welcomed the research but also urged caution.

“It’s progress, and for that we have to be optimistic, but it’s not the complete answer,” CEO Alison Jacobson said in a statement. “Our concern with the development of a SIDS vulnerability test is that parents have a false sense of security and engage in unsafe sleep practices.”

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