01.Researchers make SIDS breakthrough
Research at the University of Adelaide has shed new light onto the possible causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which points to a lack of oxygen being a contributing factor, rather than infection or trauma.
The researchers have found that telltale signs in the brains of babies that have died of SIDS are remarkably similar to those of children who died of accidental asphyxiation. The study compared 176 children who died from head trauma, infection, drowning, asphyxia and SIDS.
Researchers were looking at the presence and distribution of a protein called APP in the brain. The "APP staining", as it's known, could be an important tool for showing how children have died. This is the first time a detailed study of APP has been undertaken in SIDS cases. "All 48 of the SIDS deaths we looked at showed APP staining in the brain, "The staining by itself does not necessarily tell us the cause of death, but it can help to clarify the mechanism." says Professor Roger Byard, the project leader.
This study was conducted at the University of Adelaide by visiting postdoctoral researcher Dr Lisbeth Jensen from Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, and was funded by SIDS and Kids South Australia . The results have been published in the journal Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology.
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