The sudden death syndrome in babies, which worries so many parents, may have partly a genetic origin, according to researchers, who insist however on the importance of the recommended safety measures at the time of laying the babies down. Therefore, a new study shows that a genetic mutation could be linked to the sudden death syndrome in babies.
Sudden death syndrome in babies can be avoided, in some cases
The US and British authors of the study published in the medical journal The Lancet explain, however, that although this link is confirmed, for which more research is needed, however, this could not explain the death of the babies by itself.
That is why the study’s authors remind parents about the importance of respecting the recommendations to avoid sudden death. According to them, putting babies on their backs and not sleeping with the babies in the same bed are the best methods to avoid the occurrence of sudden death syndrome in babies.
Sudden death syndrome in babies, also known as the sudden infant death syndrome, is the brutal and unexpected death of a child under the age of two (often less than six months) from no apparent cause.
Genetic mutation linked to sudden death syndrome in babies
“Our study is the first that links sudden infant death to respiratory muscle weakness due to genetics, but other research will be needed to confirm and understand this link,” said one of the study’s authors, the British professor, Michael Hanna.
The mutation of the SCN4A gene is very rare and is considered to be found in less than five out of every 100,000 people but the researchers found it in four of the 278 children who suffered a sudden infant death examined during the study.
The scientists did not find that gene in any of the 729 healthy adults who were studied as a comparison group.
These mutations are associated with a series of genetic neuromuscular problems such as myopathies, myasthenic syndromes, and respiratory difficulties.
According to official figures published at the beginning of January in the United States, about 3,500 babies die every year during sleep.
In conclusion, according to the study’s authors, a genetic mutation is linked to the sudden death syndrome in babies but also letting babies sleep on their bellies or parent sleeping with their infants may increase the risks.