Cardiac gene identified as link to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
A Mayo Clinic study published in the Nov. 14 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association has identified a cardiac gene as a link to sudden death syndrome (SIDS).
This finding represents the first molecular evidence to unlock the mystery behind SIDS.
A team of investigators led by Michael J. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., from Mayo Clinic, the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, examined 93 cases of SIDS or possible SIDS. Tissue collected from these cases was examined for a specific defect within a gene in the heart, the SCN5A gene. The SCN5A gene encodes a cardiac sodium channel that acts as an electrical tunnel and controls the heart’s rhythm. Two of the 93 cases possessed SCN5A mutations.
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