Giving Compass’ Take:
• New research links a genetic anomaly and some forms of sudden infant death syndrome *SIDS), which claims the lives of more than 3,000 infants a year.
• This latest laboratory discovery is a big step towards finding ways to overcome SIDS, however, there is still no cure. How can donors help fund more research?
The research, published in Nature Communications, focuses on mitochondrial tri-functional protein deficiency, a potentially fatal cardiac metabolic disorder caused by a genetic mutation in the gene HADHA.
Newborns with this genetic anomaly can’t metabolize the lipids found in milk, and die suddenly of cardiac arrest when they are a couple months old. Lipids are a category of molecules that include fats, cholesterol, and fatty acids.
“There are multiple causes for sudden infant death syndrome,” says Hannele Ruohola-Baker, professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who is also associate director of the Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine.
“There are some causes which are environmental. But what we’re studying here is really a genetic cause of SIDS. In this particular case, it involves defect in the enzyme that breaks down fat.”
Read the full article genetic connection to SIDS by Leila Gray at Futurity.
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