German researchers have drawn the conclusion that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because of sleep apnea can sometimes be determined by genetic causes.
DNA analysis of a small group of children showed that the tested male infants had a certain mutation of the enzyme, which could interfere with the ability of proper breathing during sleep. However, this mutation was not found in girls.
The author of the study, Dr. Michael Klintschar, director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Medical University of Hannover, explains that his team tried to take into account the previous studies, which proved that the deviation in the brain stem, regulating breath and other basic body functions, led to SIDS. The doctor adds that the causes of these disorders remain unclear, but some scientists believe that genes inherited from parents may be one of several factors leading to SIDS.
German scientists point out that parents can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%, avoiding to lay the baby on its stomach. In addition, this risk reduces the use of pacifiers. Among other risk factors, scientists indicate parental smoking right next to the child, excessive wrapping of the child, or sleeping in a hot unventilated room.