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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

As we know . . . October is SIDS Awareness month. And unfortunately we need to talk about this tragic issue.

Sudden death syndrome is a loosely defined umbrella term for a series of cardiac syndromes that cause sudden cardiac arrest and possibly death. SIDS has no symptoms or warning signs of struggle and often these babies are found in the same position as when they were placed in the bed. And about 2,300 babies in the United States die of SIDS each year, with an infant between 1 and 4 months old to be more likely to be affected. It's also more common in boys than girls and most deaths occur during the fall, winter and early spring months.

So what is this mystery disease that could take one so young without warning?

Well . . . I did a little research and this is what I found . . .

I first researched a series of reasons the heart would stop beating, and discovered that one of the reasons is a missing enzyme called "mitochondrial trifunctional protein".

I did a little more research and found this information in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Jamal A. Ibdah, M.D., Ph. D assistant professor of internal medicine (gastroenterology) at Wake Forest states . . .

"This missing enzyme called "mitochondrial trifunctional protein" is a key step in providing energy for skeletal muscle, the heart and for metabolism in the liver."

"He stated that his study demonstrated this enzyme is essential for fetal development and survival of the newborn." "Deficiency of "mitochondrial trifunctional protein" cause fetal growth retardation, neonatal hypoglycemia and sudden death."

Okay . . . so then I read in the U.S National Library of Medicine that "mitochondrial trifunctional protein" deficiency is a condition that prevents the body from converting fats to energy, particularly during periods without food (fasting). That's when we sleep!!!

So it has been confirmed that there is an association between impairment in breaking down fat and sudden death. That means that human being after birth require these enzymes to survive.

When this enzyme is missing in an infants body, fatty acid products accumulate, producing a toxic effect that can affect the body with heart arrhythmias as well as respiratory arrest.