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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  • they have already made such strides in reducing SIDS. This is brilliant.


  • That is such great news! 50 babies is just way too high still. Its so good they are working so hard on saving those tiny lives.


  • Great stuff, still more info to prevent this from happening needed !


  • Good on them we need to help prevent this.


  • Wouldn’t it be amazing if they could find something that would end cot death all together?!


  • Any break through would be gladly welcomed. Such a dreadful thing to happen to family and generally with no reason why.


  • Good that they go on researching it!!


  • The more information available, the more babies that can be helped/saved.


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