A major breakthrough by researchers at The Children’s Hospital in Westmead could lead to the end of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which affects around 40 babies in NSW each year.
Researchers discovered that babies who die from SIDS have greatly decreased levels of Orexin, a brain protein that regulates sleep arousal.
This is similar to the levels in adults who suffer from sleep apnoea.
“It’s linked that there is a sleep related issue, which we’ve always known because the babies die in their sleep, but we didn’t know what it was linked to but this protein seems to be a major player in it,” Westmead Children’s Hospital sleep unit manager Dr Rita Machaalani told The Daily Telegraph.
“If we can determine what’s the normal level in babies when born than we can use those abnormalities to predict kids that might be at risk in the future of SIDS or sleep apnoea,” Dr Machaalani said.
Visit sidsandkids.org here for more information on SIDS and safe sleeping for babies.