After years of researching the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), doctors believe they have identified the cause, according to a new study. Published in Neurology Journal.
A brief seizure accompanied by muscle spasms has been cited as a possible cause of this mysterious and tragic death, which affects thousands of families in the United States every year.
“Although our study is small, it provides the first direct evidence that seizures may be the cause of sudden death in some children, not normally witnessed during sleep.” said lead author Dr. Laura Gould of New York University Langone College. stated in a statement.
SIDS, also known as “crib death,” usually affects infants under 6 months of age. Death usually occurs during sleep. For older children, unexplained events are defined as sudden unexplained death in children, or SUDC.
Gould is SUDC Registry and Research Collaborators After losing her 15-month-old daughter Maria to SUDC in 1997, she enrolled at NYU Langone.
Her research team at New York University examined more than 300 registered cases of SUDC, including medical records and video recordings of sleeping infants, and found that the deaths were likely due to seizures. Cases were also investigated.
The footage showed that the convulsion lasted less than 60 seconds, indicating that the unfortunate event occurred within 30 minutes of the child’s death.
“Seizures are the smoking gun that medicine has been searching for to understand why these children die,” Dr. Orin Debinski, a neurologist and senior research scientist who helped Gould create the registry, said in a statement. There is a possibility that it will happen.”
“Studying this phenomenon may also provide important insights into many other deaths, including those from SIDS and epilepsy.”
Scientists have previously looked at the link between SUDC and seizures, finding that people who experience a febrile seizure (seizures accompanied by fever) are 10 times more likely to die suddenly and unexpectedly.
The New York University research team said it had no data to show whether fever was the cause of the deaths it investigated, but it did confirm that several children had mild signs of infection.
“If we can understand which children are at risk, we may be able to change their outcomes,” Gould said. told NBC News.
But experts say more research is needed to understand exactly how the attacks lead to death.
This breakthrough comes after another research team announced that reduced levels of a blood enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) may be a potential cause of SIDS. Enzymes play an important role in waking up.
“These families now know this is not their fault,” Dr. Carmel Harrington, lead researcher at Westmead Children’s Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about the BChE study. “I am able to live with this,” he said. .
Previously, doctors advised parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs and to remove extra toys and covers from the crib that could overheat their delicate bodies or cause them to be accidentally strangled or suffocated. was instructing. However, the baby’s safety could not be guaranteed.