Scarring on Brainstem
Is scarring on the brainstem is still an old theory of SIDS?
The answer is yes and no. Doctor Richard Naeye, from Hershey, Pennsylvania, originally described 'scarring in areas of the brainstem which control breathing, sleep/wakefulness, etc., in many babies who died from SIDS. Since then, some other investigators have confirmed these findings. Others have suggested that this 'scarring' is a common and nonspecific finding. Now research is moving beyond simply looking for 'scars', which may be nonspecific. Last Fall, Doctor Hannah Kinney, from Harvard, reported decreased muscarinic cholinergic receptors in the brainstem areas thought to control the response to CO2. This is probably a better study, since receptors may be a better reflection of brain activity or function. The thought that SIDS involves some problem with brainstem function, especially in areas controlling breathing, heart rate, and sleep/wakefulness remains a leading theory of SIDS, though not proven.
I hope this helps. Thanks.
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