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Potential Central Nervous System Involvement in Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths and the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) in infancy which includes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the commonest diagnosed cause of death in the United States for infants 1 month to 1 year of age. Central nervous system mechanisms likely contribute to many of these deaths. We discuss some of these including seizure disorders, prolonged breath holding, arousal from sleep and its habituation, laryngeal reflex apnea potentiated by upper airway infection, and failure of brainstem‐mediated autoresuscitation. In the conclusions section, we speculate how lives saved through back sleeping might result in later developmental problems in certain infants who otherwise might have died while sleeping prone. © 2015 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 5:1061‐1068, 2015.

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Bradley T. Thach. Potential Central Nervous System Involvement in Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths and the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Compr Physiol 2015, 5: 1061-1068. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c130052