SIDS and the serotonin transporter gene
A number of articles hit the news the past few of days regarding SIDS and the serotonin transporter gene. The news refers to a study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, January 17, 2003, entitled, "Sudden infant death syndrome: Association with a promoter polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene," led by Debra E. Weese-Mayer of the Department of Pediatrics, Rush Children's Hospital at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois. The public has been on an information roller coaster, the result of an explosion of media reports. We need to help people separate myth from fact and risk factor from cause. We will post information as it becomes available to us.
Please keep the following in mind:
- Other studies made similar claims since 1985.
- The study's authors do not claim to have determined the cause of SIDS.
- The study's authors state that the results indicate a relationship between SIDS and the L allele of the 5-HTT gene in African Americans and Caucasians, and if confirmed, will provide an important tool for identifying at-risk individuals and estimating the risk of recurrence..
- When it comes to media coverage of SIDS, we often feel a sense of frustration in being confronted with misleading headlines, announcements of so-called breakthroughs and statements taken out of context.
- Please read the article, "Mass Media's" Role in SIDS Education, at <http://sids-network.org/media.htm>.
- You can search MEDLINE for serotonin, SIDS, and 5-HTT information.
We are currently gathering more information about this specific research and will keep you updated.
You can read the abstract of the study here.
Sudden infant death syndrome: Association with a promoter polymorphism
of the serotonin transporter gene
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