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A new study has identified a genetic mutation called SCN4A, which is one of the causes of sudden infant death syndrome. However, morbid death can still be caused by many other factors that are fortunately avoidable.
( Bulent Kilic | AFP / Getty Images )
Sudden infant death has recently been linked to a genetic mutation that interrupts the normal function of the respiratory muscles.
In a new study, researchers examined the genomes of 278 babies who died of the strange phenomenon and then compared them to samples from 729 adults in the UK who were never diagnosed with cardiovascular, respiratory or neurological disease.
Discovery of SCN4A in children Who died of SIDS
Of the 278 samples of SIDS victims, the team discovered four genomes that contained a rare mutation called SCN4A. They tried to look under the controls but could not even identify a single case.
This is no coincidence, says Stephen Cannon, neurologist and professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles was not part of the study. He explained that although four may seem too small, this is normal for rare medical conditions. In particular, the SCN4A gene controls a sodium channel that maintains electrical current flow to stimulate skeletal muscle function, such as breathing.
However, it is important to note that only 1
Preventing Sudden Infant Death
By ensuring the safety of a child's sleep environment, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related causes is significantly reduced Infant Death
The National Institutes of Health recommends the use of a firm mattress only covered with a fitted sheet. Cushions, blankets, crib bumpers, stuffed animals and similar materials should never be kept in the crib.
Parents are advised to keep babies on their backs, not only at night, but also while asleep. Even sleeping together in an adult bed or on a couch is highly recommended.
Although some medications are said to help prevent SIDS, the NIH warns against its use. Instead, the Federal Health Agency promotes breastfeeding, which reduces the risk of morbid death by up to 50 percent.
Cardiological studies on the prevention of SIDS
In a similar study, researchers in Denmark studied nearly 2.5 million infants over a 38-year period in search of new information about SIDS.
Based on the shocking findings of their investigation, the other team urges parents, younger siblings of SIDS victims to have cardiac testing as their chance of dying a crib is actually four times larger than their deceased sibling.
"All parents should follow the public health advice on the prevention of SIDS," says Charlotte Glinge, a physician at the Heart Center of the University Hospital in Copenhagen and author of the study.
She added that by examining immediate relatives of SIDS victims, physicians will be able to prevent the potential death of a younger sibling.
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