Cause Of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Identified

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may have a biological mechanism that could, at least in part, help explain the condition’s cause.

Researchers have identified a brainstem abnormality affecting serotonin receptors, which they believe, alongside other biological and environmental factors, may increase an infant’s risk of SIDS.

Also known as “cot death”, SIDS is the sudden, unexpected, and unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby under one year of age that usually occurs while they are sleeping.

It is rare, but is still the leading cause of post-neonatal infant death in the United States, affecting around 38 out of 100,000 live births in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Its cause is unknown, despite a wealth of research and even some breakthroughs. So, researchers, led by Robin Haynes at Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts, embarked on a study to learn more.

They collected and analyzed the brainstem tissue of 70 deceased infants, 58 of whom died of SIDS and 12 of other causes between 2004 and 2011.

When comparing the tissues, the team noticed differences in how serotonin – a chemical that sends signals between nerve cells and is involved in modulating numerous biological processes including mood and sleep  – binds to receptors. 

These same receptors – called 5-HT2A/C receptors – have previously been associated with arousal and autoresuscitation in rodents and so may have a protective function during sleep.

The researchers found that the binding of serotonin to these receptors was altered in the lower brainstems of babies who died of SIDS, compared with those who died of other causes.

They speculate that these abnormalities, in at least a subset of SIDS, may lead to “failure across multiple vital respiratory, cardiovascular, and autonomic brainstem systems that are necessary for successful reoxygenation and perfusion of the developing brain in response to [low oxygen].”

Such a biological vulnerability, in conjunction with other factors such as a child’s sleeping position and age, may all contribute to their increased risk of SIDS, the team believes.

“The work presented builds upon previous work by our laboratory and others showing abnormalities in the serotonergic system of some SIDS infants,” Haynes said in a statement

“Although we have identified abnormalities in the serotonin 2A/C receptor in SIDS, the relationship between the abnormalities and cause of death remains unknown.

Much work remains in determining the consequence of abnormalities in this receptor in the context of a larger network of serotonin and non-serotonin receptors that protect vital functions in cardiac and respiratory control when challenged.” 

It is hoped that such research could help us to one day predict an infant’s risk of SIDS. However, “we have no means to identify infants with biological abnormalities in the serotonergic system [at present],” Haynes added, stressing the importance of adhering to safe-sleep practices.

Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines on infant sleeping for the first time in six years, providing up-to-date safe-sleep recommendations and advice on lowering the risk of SIDS.

This includes laying infants flat on their backs on non-inclined surfaces and avoiding bedsharing. More information can be found here.

The study is published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology.

Original Article

Brain Implants Allow Paralyzed Man to Walk Again (VIDEO)

In a groundbreaking development, a Dutch man who suffered a spinal cord injury in a bicycle accident twelve years ago has regained the ability to walk, thanks to advanced stimulators implanted on his brain and spinal cord.

This remarkable achievement, published in a recent study, represents a significant breakthrough in the field of neurotechnology and holds promise for improving the mobility and independence of individuals with spinal cord injuries and strokes.

The Journey to Recovery:

Gert-Jan Oskam, now 40 years old, had previously undergone spinal cord stimulation treatments that allowed him to stand and take steps, but only when he activated the device manually.

However, the new system has revolutionized his ability to walk by enabling him to simply think about walking, triggering the stimulation and initiating leg movements. The implanted stimulators reestablish communication between the brain and the leg-controlling region of the spinal cord, resulting in more natural walking patterns.

A Leap into Science Fiction Becomes Reality:

The collaborative research team, led by Dr. Grégoire Courtine, made significant strides in bridging the gap between the brain and the spinal cord, thus restoring lost motor function.

Dr. Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, described the journey as initially resembling science fiction but eventually becoming a reality. By reconnecting the disrupted signaling between the brain and muscles, the weak signals sent by Oskam’s body were reinforced, enabling mobility even when the stimulators were turned off.

Reclaiming Independence and Beyond:

For Oskam, being able to walk at will has provided a newfound sense of independence, particularly within his home environment. He shared a poignant moment when he took the initiative to paint his new house, using a walker to stand and perform the task himself.

With stimulators implanted in both his brain and spinal cord, he now controls the stimulation with his thoughts, offering a remarkable level of control and natural movement.

Expanding Possibilities and Clinical Trials:

While Oskam is the first individual to have his results with the stimulators published, the research team believes that their findings will pave the way for assisting a broader population of individuals with spinal cord injuries and strokes.

The benefits extend beyond walking, potentially improving other functions such as bladder control, blood pressure regulation, and sweating. The team plans to miniaturize the hardware used in the system for practical implementation outside the laboratory setting. Additionally, they aim to launch a clinical trial within a year, which may lead to the eventual approval of stimulators for use in spinal cord injury patients.

Experts Applaud the Breakthrough:

Experts in the field have hailed the research as a remarkable achievement. The ability to stimulate both the brain and spinal cord in real-time represents unprecedented progress.

Researchers foresee this breakthrough accelerating advancements in the field and instilling greater confidence in the potential of neurotechnology. The technology, although still in its infancy, shows tremendous promise for enhancing the quality of life for individuals with paralysis.

Looking Ahead:

While the technology may never replicate natural movement perfectly, the strides made in recent research demonstrate significant improvements in mobility and motor function. The potential to restore arm movements and further refine the technology holds tremendous promise for the future.

This breakthrough development is reminiscent of the aspirations of the late actor Christopher Reeve, who dreamt of standing up and walking again after his paralyzing accident. With each step forward, the boundaries of possibility continue to expand, offering hope and renewed independence to individuals affected by spinal cord injuries.

Watch the video below:

Pharmacist Warns Melatonin Can Cause ‘Nightmares and Weight Gain’

Original Article – Getting to sleep at night isn’t always an easy task, especially if your mind is still racing by the time your head hits your pillow and you can’t seem to get it to stop.

Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to try and improve your sleep routine, such as cutting down on caffeine before bedtime and trying breathing exercises which many find helpful.

There are also medicines that can help you get to sleep, but according to one pharmacist, these should only ever be used as a last resort – as some of them can actually cause even more problems including nightmares and weight gain.

Ian Budd, clinical lead and prescribing pharmacist at Chemist4U, explained that one of the most popular sleep aids involves a synthetic version of the sleep hormone melatonin, which your body produces naturally at nighttime to control how and when you sleep.

However, the synthetic versions of melatonin – which should only be taken for short periods if you’re struggling with sleep problems – can be dangerous as they can cause “unpleasant side effects” including nightmares, night sweats, and weight gain.

Ian, therefore, recommends consulting your doctor before taking melatonin as a sleep aid.

He said: “Melatonin can be found in a medicine called Circadin. If you’ve been struggling with your sleep cycle for a while, it’s likely you know that melatonin is a natural chemical in the body that helps you to fall asleep.

“But, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you pick up your prescription, as Circadin can have some pretty unpleasant side effects such as abnormal nightmares, night sweats and weight gain.

“Sleep aids should only be used as a last resort, after first trying to make some lifestyle changes, such as improving your bedtime routine, cutting down caffeine intake and managing stress. We would recommend consulting with your doctor before using melatonin as a sleep aid to avoid any unwanted side effects.”

If you are looking for help getting to sleep at night, Dr Michael Mosley recently shared a series of tips as part of his new podcast, Sleep Well, which is aimed at adults who struggle to improve their sleep.

6 Months Old Son Dies During Sleep Study at Children’s Hospital

A Massachusetts couple has received a $15 million settlement after their 6-month-old son died during a sleep study.

Becky and Ryan Kekula — from Plymouth, Massachusetts — brought their son Jackson to Boston Children’s Hospital for a car seat test and a sleep study on February 18, 2022.

During the study, his parents told WCVB5 that Jackson’s oxygen levels and heart rate dropped to dangerously low levels. After a half an hour, their baby boy was in cardiac arrest.

Although hospital staff performed CPR on Jackson, the Kekula family say he had severe brain damage and they made the decision to take him off life support 12 days later.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health later investigated Jackson’s case and found that hospital staff made a series of errors that left him without oxygen for more than 20 minutes.

Due to the tragedy, the Kekulas were awarded a $15 million settlement from the Boston Children’s Hospital, the outlet reports.

Following the case, Boston Children’s Hospital released a statement to WCVB5.

“We express our deepest condolences and apologize to the family for the loss of their son,” the hospital said. “Following this incident, we immediately stopped all sleep studies and began a thorough review of what occurred.

We examined our policies, staff training, competencies and all systems that support sleep lab studies, including scheduling, ordering, triaging and performing the actual study.”

“We identified and implemented several improvements for how we conduct sleep studies, including a revision of responsibilities of team members; hands-on skills training and education for sleep lab staff; enhanced sleep technologist orientation and ongoing training; modification of the ordering and triage process that assesses potential risks to patients; and a review of the environment in which testing is conducted. After this review and implementation of these improvements, sleep studies were reinstated in a phased manner to ensure patient safety.”

“We continue to closely monitor the care delivery of sleep studies to ensure the highest levels of quality and safety for our patients and their families,” the statement ended.

“We maintain our system-wide commitment to prioritizing and improving quality and safety as the foundation of all the care provided at Boston Children’s Hospital.”

Original Article

Woman Dies After Inhaling Cleaning Product She Was Using to Unclog Her Sink

A 47-year-old woman has died after inhaling an ordinary cleaning product that she was using to unclog her sink.

Angela Gil, from the city of Gijon, north-western Spain, suffered severe respiratory failure after breathing in the fumes of a drain cleaner on April 22.

The woman had purchased the product – the name of which was not disclosed – from a regular convenience store.

She had started out her morning as normal – by getting several chores done, which included unclogging the kitchen sink.

But as she poured the product into the sink, it purportedly caused some kind of chemical reaction that proved to be deadly.

Investigators would later note they reached that conclusion “according to how black the sink was”.

As Angela breathed in the toxic fumes, she apparently began having trouble breathing.

She rushed out of her apartment and tried getting help from her neighbors, who unfortunately were not at home at the time, local media report.

A while later, one of her neighbours who was returning home reportedly found her collapsed near the elevator.

The neighbor alerted emergency services and tried performing life-saving measures.

Paramedics soon arrived but little could be done, local media said.

They immediately rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was shortly pronounced dead.

An autopsy confirmed she had died from inhaling a lethal amount of the toxic substance.

Angela’s family is now considering taking legal action against the company responsible for manufacturing the product.

They say they do not want another innocent person suffering a tragic death as Angela did.

Original Article

Turkey’s President Falls Ill on Live TV (VIDEO)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suspended election campaigning after he fell ill during a live TV interview in which the broadcast was abruptly brought to a halt.

After a 20-minute break, he returned to say he had “serious stomach flu” after two days of intense campaigning. Erdogan, 69, is facing his toughest election campaign so far.

The main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has been chosen to run for a group of six political parties. He was among a number of opposition leaders to wish the president a speedy recovery.

Health minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday that the president’s health was fine and that he had “infectious gastroenteritis”. He said he would resume his scheduled daily program as soon as possible.

Latest polls suggest a close race for the presidency, with Kilicdaroglu in with a good chance of electoral victory. The first round takes place on 14 May, with a possible presidential run-off two weeks later.

President Erdogan initially cancelled three campaign appearances in central Anatolia on Wednesday, saying he had been advised to stay home on the advice of doctors.

He then cancelled his scheduled events on Thursday, too, including the opening of Turkey’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast.

Instead, a pale and tired-looking Erdogan joined Russia’s Vladimir Putin in taking part in the inauguration online.

Akkuyu’s four nuclear reactors, largely owned by Russian firm Rosatom, have taken several years to build and the opening had been timed to coincide with the election.

The two leaders also spoke over the phone before the ceremony, with Moscow saying they had agreed to deepen economic and trade co-operation.

Several journalists were seated around President Erdogan when he fell ill during the live broadcast on Tuesday evening on pro-government channels Ulke TV and Kanal 7.

After one of the interviewers asked a question, the camera showed the journalist looking increasingly alarmed before the screen went blank.

Eventually Erdogan returned to explain that he had earlier considered cancelling the program. “Of course, we sometimes encounter such situations amid such busy work.”

Within hours of the broadcast, speculation appeared on some social media accounts outside Turkey that Erdogan had suffered a heart attack.


Police Launches Probe After Schoolboy Collapses and Dies

A young boy has died after was found collapsed and rushed to hospital.

The 14-year-old boy reportedly died shortly after arriving at hospital, early hours of this morning (Sunday, April 23) police have said.

Police were called to the scene in Courthouse Green in Coventry, UK at around 3:00 am where they found the teen and took him to get help.

His death is currently being treated as unexplained. A post-mortem will take place in due course, West Midlands Police said.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We were called after a teenager was found collapsed off Austin Drive, Coventry, just before 3am today (April 23). A 14-year-old boy was taken to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead.”

“At this stage, the death is being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem will take place in due course.”

Meanwhile a 16 and 17 year old were found dead on Friday following a horror car crash.

Emergency services, including four air ambulances, were called at around 4:10 pm on Friday to a two-vehicle collision on the B4035 Campden Road, near to the Portobello Crossroads in the Cotswolds.

The crash involved a Ford Fiesta and a Fiat 500.

A 17-year-old boy and a 16 year-old girl from the Fiesta were both airlifted to hospital, and have since died. Their next of kin have been informed

A 16-year-old boy in the same vehicle who was also airlifted to hospital remains in a life-threatening condition.

A fourth occupant of the Fiesta, a 17-year-old boy, is now in a stable condition following surgery.

Three occupants from the Fiat, a woman and two children, all sustained serious injuries and are in a stable condition in hospital.

Original Article

Colorado Schools Mourn as THIRD Teacher Dies in Less Than a Week

A teacher in Colorado passed away over the weekend, bringing the toll of untimely deaths at the Cherry Creek School District to three.

The physical education teacher, Scott Nash, is said to have died of unknown causes. This follows the deaths of two other teachers, Maddie Schmidt, and Judith Geoffroy.

The Arapahoe County Public Health Department has confirmed that Schmidt’s symptoms were consistent with meningitis, which includes nausea, a stiff neck, a sudden rise in body temperature, and a dark purple rash, according to a local hospital.

However, the Cherry Creek School District has asserted that Nash’s cause of death is unrelated.

The local health authority released a statement saying, “The Arapahoe Public Health Department is working closely with the Cherry Creek School District, sharing information and working together to perform contact tracing,” via USA Today.

They also advised that the medical examiner’s office is performing additional tests on the teachers and would release a statement once they determine the cause of death.

The circumstances surrounding faculty member Geoffroy’s death, who passed away on the same weekend as Schmidt, remain unclear.

Both women worked at Eaglecrest High School in Aurora, Colorado, at its integrated learning center. Their unexpected deaths resulted in the school being closed until Monday, per New York Post.

In response to these sudden deaths, the school district is working with the public health department and offering preventative antibiotics to those staff members and families deemed to be close contacts.

Despite Nash’s passing being unrelated to meningitis, the potential for an outbreak has caused concern for the community’s well-being.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office has yet to come to a conclusion about the cause of death for two of the teachers, and information is still being gathered.

Original Article

John Fetterman Hospital Photos Raise Questions

Social media users have sparked questions surrounding John Fetterman’s health and future as a Senator after seeing new pictures of him in a hospital.

The Pennsylvania Senator checked himself into a hospital on February 16 in order to receive treatment for clinical depression.

In late February his team confirmed that Fetterman has remained on top of his work as a senator while in hospital, however.

In recent weeks, Fetterman’s team has faced rising pressure and continued scrutiny on whether he is fit to continue in the role. This has been worsened by the lack of detail surrounding his ongoing battle with mental illness.

John Fetterman

Fetterman’s Chief of Staff Adam Jentleson has faced further questions and concerns on social media after sharing images of Fetterman working in a hospital.

On Monday Jentleson shared the pictures and captioned the post: “Productive morning with Senator Fetterman at Walter Reed discussing the rail safety legislation, Farm Bill and other Senate business.

“John is well on his way to recovery and wanted me to say how grateful he is for all the well wishes. He’s laser focused on PA & will be back soon.”

Some critics of the Senator questioned why Fetterman’s staff did not share any videos of Fetterman or videos of him speaking in hospital, further suggesting his health is worse than his team is showing.

Louis Marinelli, the president of the political action committee Yes California, tweeted his disbelief that Fetterman was not just posing for the picture rather than working.

He tweeted: “He’s not actually reading or discussing anything in those pictures. They came and gave him papers as a prop for a proof of life photo, then send him back to bed.”

Twitter user, GigaBear also agreed and suggested the picture was simply “theatre” in hopes to quell the questions surrounding Fetterman’s health.

The page tweeted: “Pretty sure you have it right. Everything is theatre. They will keep him there long enough to avoid a special election this year, and then he will quietly retire once the seat is secured for Biden’s entire first term. And by first term I do mean his entire presidency.”

The Twitter page of AppSame, a conservative political marketing firm, added: “He needs to resign now so Pennsylvania can elect someone who can do the job.”

Despite the pressure being put on Fetterman and his team as well as the Democrats, his office has given no indication that he plans to resign.

Last week the Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro, who is responsible for choosing a successor if Fetterman leaves office, said there was currently “no contingency plan” for that situation.

Some social media users went as far to praise Fetterman for his determination to work while also dealing with his mental health struggles.

Human Rights Lawyer Yasmine Taeb tweeted: “Thank you so much, Adam for all that you and your boss are doing; please let Sen. Fetterman know he’s in our thoughts and prayers and we’re sending him strength”

Civil Rights Attorney Alison Grinter Allen also offered her thanks and tweeted: “So heartening to see him recovering and looking well.”

Original Article

Man, 21, Dies After Workout at the Gym from Shocking Diagnosis

A young athlete died just three days after falling ill at the gym.

Daniel Donnan had been working out last Thursday at his local gym. The 21-year-old was rushed to hospital when he started to feel unwell.

Sadly, Daniel died on Monday surrounded by his heartbroken family. His brother Curtis said scans revealed his sibling was suffering with brain bleeds.

It was then also later revealed he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer, which spread to his brain and lungs. Curtis said: “Daniel was at the gym and started to lose power in the right side of his body after he got off the treadmill.

“Daniel had an MRI on Friday and then underwent a CT Scan and ultrasound.

“He was diagnosed on Friday evening and then we lost him on Monday,” he told BelfastLive.

The family thanked medics who took care of Daniel at Ulster Hospital and the City Hospital cancer ward. They also called for young men to be made aware of the symptoms of testicular cancer and how to check themselves for it.

The 21-year-old from Bangor had won numerous titles with his local bowling club, being named under-25 runner-up by the Northern Ireland Bowling Association in 2018.

Bangor Bowling Club secretary Thomas Cannavan told the Mail that Daniel messaged the club WhatsApp group after his brain bleed diagnosis, saying he felt a lot better and was looking forward to the next season.

Medics had planned to move Daniel to a different hospital and try emergency chemotherapy, but it was too late, he added. Bangor Bowling Club told the Mirror members were devastated by Daniel’s passing, pledging not to forget him.

According to the NHS, testicular cancer is one of the least common cancers, accounting for one per cent of all cancers that occur in men.

It’s “unusual compared with other cancers because it tends to affect younger men”, mostly those aged between 15 and 49.

Around 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the UK.

Symptoms of testicular cancer

Typical symptoms include:

  • painless swelling or a lump in one of your testicles
  • a change in shape or texture
  • an increase in the firmness of a testicle
  • a difference in appearance between testicles
  • a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
  • a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum

The swelling or lump can be about the size of a pea, but may be larger, NHS guidance said.

Most lumps or swellings in the scrotum are not in the testicle and are not a sign of cancer, but they should not be ignored.

You should see a GP if you notice a lump, swelling or change in your testicles, NHS guidance said.

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