Brain stem abnormalities linked to SIDS

11/11/2013 | Boston Globe (tiered subscription model), The

Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital looked at 71 sudden infant death cases, and found lower serotonin levels in the brain stem of babies who died due to suffocation after being entangled in bedding or placed on a face-down position, and those who just stopped breathing for unknown reasons, compared with babies who died for other reasons. Lower serotonin levels in the brain stem may keep babies from awakening when they have low oxygen levels. "There may be a biological explanation behind all this, which can relieve guilt and lessen grief," study author Dr. Hannah Kinney reported in the journal Pediatrics.

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