Simple drug may be solution to sudden infant death syndrome

June 4th, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, June 4 (IANS) A specific class of drugs could be effective in treating babies vulnerable to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the unexpected death during sleep of an apparently healthy infant below one year.
SIDS usually occurs because an infant’s mother smokes during pregnancy.

McMaster University researchers said exposure of the foetus to nicotine cuts down their ability to respond to decreases in oxygen, known as hypoxia, which may result in a higher incidence of SIDS.

In the same study on rats, they found that the diabetic medication ‘glibenclamide’ can reverse the effects of nicotine exposure, increasing the newborn’s ability to respond to hypoxia and likely to reduce the incidence of SIDS, said a McMaster’s release.

“During birth the baby rapidly changes its physiology and anatomy so that it can breathe on its own,” explained Josef Buttigieg, lead author.

The findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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