Families affected by the tragic condition known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) have spoken out about their experiences after a new study suggested scientists are close to identifying a cause.
SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby under one year of age with no apparent cause. The condition is sometimes referred to as “crib death” or “crib death” because it is associated with the amount of time the baby is asleep.
SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies between one month and one year of age, with the vast majority of deaths occurring before a baby is six months old, according to the states of the National Institute of Health. Every year there are about 3,400 cases of sudden unexpected infant death in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a classification that includes SIDS.
The cause of SIDS is by definition unknown. The condition can be painful for bereaved families who don’t get answers.
There is some evidence that infants dying of SIDS had a brain disorder that affects nerve cells that could control vital functions such as breathing and heart rate, but other possible factors had also been identified.
Scientists have now identified a chemical known as Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), which they found had significantly lower activity in babies who died of SIDS compared to live babies or those who died of conditions other than SIDS.
The finding could mean doctors could identify babies at risk for SIDS prior to death and open new research into prevention.
The research has proved hugely popular on Twitter, where it was hailed as a major scientific breakthrough. One tweet describing the research had received more than 60,000 likes and more than 1,000 comments as of Friday.
The news prompted several Twitter users to speak out about their own experiences of losing loved ones or their own children to SIDS.
kathykiiscool wrote that she lost her first son at 38 weeks in what doctors say was SIDS in utero, adding that “the tech cried while doing the ultrasound”.
“Even though my SIDS happened in 1991, the emotion and pain is still there,” she said news week†
She said she “never really got answers” when she lost her child to SIDS when she was just 19. “I am grateful that there are people who are trying to understand what causes SIDS,” she added.
Getvalentined wrote that her mother lost a sister to SIDS more than 50 years ago and that her family “never recovered”. She said news week“The breakthrough will certainly help save a lot of babies, but I don’t think people realize how many families it will save.”
The new SIDS study, titled “Butyrylcholinesterase is a Potential Biomarker for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” was published in the journal eBioMedicine on May 6