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Blood Of SIDS Infants Have High Levels Of Serotonin

Blood Of SIDS Infants Have High Levels Of Serotonin

Results May Provide Foundation For Forensic Test

According to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, blood samples from infants who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) had high levels of serotonin, a chemical that carries signals along and between nerves.

The finding raises the possibility that a test could be developed to distinguish SIDS cases from other causes of sleep-related, unexpected infant death. SIDS is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that remains unexplained after a complete autopsy and death scene investigation.

SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. In 2015, the New Mexico Department of Health reported 94 SIDS deaths over the last five years.

In the current study, researchers reported that 31 percent of SIDS infants (19 of 61) had elevated blood levels of serotonin. In previous studies, the researchers reported multiple serotonin-related brain abnormalities in SIDS cases, including a decrease in serotonin in regions involved in breathing, heart rate patterns, blood pressure, temperature regulation, and arousal during sleep.

Taken together, the researchers wrote, the findings suggest that an abnormality in serotonin metabolism could indicate an underlying vulnerability that increases SIDS risk and that testing blood samples for serotonin could distinguish certain SIDS cases from other infant deaths. However, they caution that more research is needed.

The study, led by Robin L. Haynes, Ph.D., of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development provided funding for the work.

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  • MyNameIsNobody
    July 4, 2017, 3:16 pm

    The commericalized corrupt medical industry interprets serotonin findings according to whether they fit their for-profit product merchandise which typically means the notion of serotonin as the good or happy chemical needs to be kept intact never mind the real evidence.

    If blood levels of serotonin are low they’ll interpret it as there’s not enough in in the brain, hence you needs SSRI drugs. If it is high then they say the same thing, it’s low in the brain because of a defect in metabolism. Of course, the fact that its levels are high outside the brain, as in this study here, isn’t interpreted that serotonin could have a direct destructive effects in the demise of SIDS kids because serotonin is the happy chemical.

    Yet a sizable volume of sound research studies demonstrated that increasing serotonin and tryptophan either with drugs or supplements (not food because food’s unlikely to significantly raise tryptophan or serotonin in the brain) is linked to brain dysfunction, stress hormone release, cognitive deficits, inflammation, impaired blood circulation in the brain, hypertension, cancer, and other less than "happy" effects –

    The "serotonin-happiness" mantra, just like the mechanistic simplistic "chemical imbalance" idea, seem to be almost entirely all-too convenient inventions of the medical-pharma business, which allowed them to sell their highly profitable antidepressant drugs, such as SSRIs.

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Ashley Kurtz is a freelance theater critic.

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