MAJOR breakthrough into the cause of sudden infant death syndrome could help develop testing to predict the deadly syndrome.
In a world first, Adelaide University researchers have found most babies who have died from SIDS lack a chemical in their brain that wakes them up if they are having trouble breathing.
‘Substance P’, the chemical allows babies to warn their parents if they’re having respiratory problems, reports 7 news.
“The normal response of an infant is to wake up to cry or turn their head or neck out of an unsafe environment of low oxygen,” researcher Dr Fiona Bright said.
Babies with reduced levels of ‘Substance P’ show no warning signs, but researchers hope to use the new information will now be used to develop testing that can inform parent’s if their child is at risk.
“That would be the hope, that we could test babies and say yes this baby is at really high risk so we have to be really careful about this child,” University of Adelaide Professor Roger Byard said.
Although death rates from SIDS have dropped dramatically, around 50 babies still die in Australia every year.
Fingers crossed this is the breakthrough we need.
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