A new study has identified mutations in genes pertinent to the autonomic nervous system among babies who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) that might explain why they died. The study appears in the September issue of Pediatric Research.
Dr. Debra E. Weese-Mayer, professor of pediatrics and director of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine at Rush University Medical Center, and colleagues at Rush and at the University of Pittsburgh conducted a case-control study in which they compared genetic material from 92 SIDS babies and 92 control subjects (who survived the first year of life and had no family history for autonomic diseases).
Her study found 11 different protein-changing rare mutations in 14 of the 92 SIDS cases but only one such mutation in two of the 92 control cases. Of the 15.2 percent of the SIDS babies who had one of these mutations, 71 percent were African American babies, an observation that may explain in part the ethnic disparity in SIDS, Weese-Mayer said.
Chris Martin | EurekAlert!
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