Looks like one possible reason why sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) occur is due to low serotonin levels.
In a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in Feb 3, 2010, Hannah Kinney, MD at Children’s Hospital Boston and colleagues suggest that not only was low serotonin found in infants who died of SIDS, but also those had low levels of serotonin receptors.
Serotonin is known to regulate breathing, heart rate and blood pressure during sleep. The researchers said normal infants can wake up when they experience some types of stresses like re breathing carbon dioxide when sleeping in the face down position. But infants with low serotonin would never respond to the environmental triggers.
To avoid it, pregnant mothers should refrain from smoking and alcohol for 12 months, and that the infants should sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm mattress. Nothing particularly new…
To put it simply, mother and fetus have innate abilities to defend themselves from threats such as infection. When the environment inside the uterus becomes unfavorable and threatens the survival of both mom and fetus, then labor begins. The intensity of this reaction depends presumably on the genetic variability between mom and fetus, which probably explains why some pregnancies reach term and others are pre-term.
Another explanation concerns IL-6. Infants who carried the DNA variant in the gene for the Interleukin 6 receptor were more likely to be born premature than those who did not.
This post is tagged DNA, pediatrics, pre-term birth, pre-term risk factors, serotonin, SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome