Why in News:
- A team of Australian researchers have identified a biochemical marker in the blood that could help identify newborn babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Babies who died of SIDS had lower levels of an enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) shortly after birth.
What is SIDS?
- Sudden infant death syndrome is the unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant. It usually occurs while the baby is asleep, although in rare cases, it can also occur while the child is awake. The condition is also called “cot death”.
- Newborn babies delivered prematurely or with low weight at birth are believed to be at a greater risk of SIDS.
- The exact cause of SIDS is unknown. While the cause of SIDS is unknown, many clinicians and researchers believe that SIDS is associated with problems in the ability of the baby to arouse from sleep, to detect low levels of oxygen, or a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood.