A new clue to the cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) comes from baby mice that suddenly die when their brain serotonin levels go haywire.
Serotonin is a signaling chemical that has far-reaching effects in the brain and other organs. But while too much or too little serotonin can cause many kinds of problems, death wasn't supposed to be one of them. Until now.
Cornelius Gross, PhD, and
colleagues at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory near
Scientists have new evidence that the brain chemical best known for regulating mood also plays a role in the mystifying killer of seemingly healthy babies -- sudden infant death syndrome.
Autopsied brain tissue from SIDS babies first raised suspicion that an imbalance in serotonin might be behind what once was called crib death.
But specialists couldn't figure
out how that defect could kill. Now researchers in