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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): Cause & Safety Guidelines

By Maureen Blas | Jul 05, 2017 04:18 AM EDT

A bundle of joy brings happiness to the family and completes it. However, it would be too devastating to lose a baby at that young age because of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to study, infants who died because of the said syndrome prove to have high levels of serotonin in their blood.

Based on the findings that are partly funded by the National Institutes of Health, serotonin is a chemical that delivers signals together with and between nerves. The result increases the probability of the progress of a test to determine cases of SIDS from other bases of unforeseen infant death which are related to sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited SIDS to be the major cause of babies' mortality rate with ages that range from a month old to one year old. According to recent studies, significant figures of death due to SIDS seem to be related to the sudden rise of serotonin levels in the brain.

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On Monday, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published its study after discovering that a considerable count of SIDS death shows linkage to a raise in the level of serotonin that regulates breathing and other bodily functions. A blood test was made from 61 babies who reportedly died of SIDS and appear that almost one-third had elevated levels of serotonin in their blood.

Although 19 of the 61 babies who are found to have high levels of serotonin in their blood, there are still underlying questions like if they have common abnormalities. Likewise, it is still uncertain if the affected babies also have higher levels of serotonin serum.

According to the neonatologist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Rosemary Higgins, who oversaw the study the finding is exciting. "More research would need to be done, but it could possibly lead to a forensic test to distinguish SIDS deaths from other causes of death among infants," she added.

Researchers conclude that irregularity in the metabolism of serotonin could signify a fundamental susceptibility that accelerates the risk of SIDS. The blood sample tests may determine specific SIDS cases compared to other infant deceases but further study is still needed.

For the meantime, parents and caregivers like nannies are advised to follow the "safe to sleep" guidelines. The baby's crib should be empty with no pillows, toys, or beddings that could cause suffocation and have a firm mattress to support the infant's weight. Lastly, the baby should lie flat on her or his back.

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