Biological Factor Is The Cause Of Present Infant Death Syndrome, Research Says
The researchers from the Royal Alexandra hospital for children located at Westmead have recently released their discovery on infants who die from the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
Their study revealed that babies who suffered from SIDS had significantly reduced levels of a particular protein-like of the brain called orexin which is the one responsible for regulating the stimulation of sleep among humans.
The purpose of the study was to push for the screening of babies after they were given birth in order to see if the orexin level in their bodies is low or not. However, the test would not be accessible for at least ten years. Hence, parents are still obliged to follow the guidelines for the prevention of SIDS and cautions from experts.
At present, smoking, too much bedding and stomach sleeping are just some of the many well known and evidently foreseen environmental risk factors in connection to SIDS.
According to the sleep unit manager at Westmead, Dr. Rita Machaalani, there is evidence now which shows that SIDS is triggered by a biological condition in an area of the brain which is the one responsible for the human's sleep regulation.
Based on the study on over 27 cases of SIDS and 19 controls, the brains of the newborns who died from SIDS had a level of orexin that was 20% lower than the usual level.
Machaalani said, "That seems to indicate that these babies may have had some defect in the message that says this baby should arouse during their sleep time but it didn't get through to do so."
She also added that at this moment, her team is on their way to conducting a research which aims to find the mechanism responsible for the reduction of the level of orexin in the body, which has also been drawn in to the sleeping disorders of adults.
"The potential to screen was huge," said Alexandra Martiniuk, a medical researcher and associate professor from the George Institute for global health at the University of Sydney.