Genetic disease offers clues to SIDS, sleep apnea
Imagine raising a child who stops breathing when falling asleep – and has to be reminded to visit the bathroom after drinking a Big Gulp. That’s the dilemma faced by parents of children born with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS). Afflicting about 250 children in the United States, the genetic disease wreaks havoc in areas of the brain that control involuntary actions such as breathing, fluid regulation and heart function.
Now an MRI study by UCLA scientists reveals that these children’s brains display stroke-like damage in regions that regulate the cardiovascular system, body temperature and urination. Published July 11 in the Journal of Comparative Neurology, the research holds important clues for unraveling the mysteries of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sleep apnea and numerous other conditions.
Elaine Schmidt | EurekAlert!
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