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March 21, 2007

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Brain Abnormalities

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(11):1190-1191. doi:10.1001/jama.297.11.1190-a

To the Editor: The study of brainstem abnormalities in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by Dr Paterson and colleagues1 concluded that an abnormality of serotonin function in the brainstem is a specific cause of SIDS, but the authors did not address contrary evidence. The key issue is whether these abnormalities are a cause or an effect of hypoxia. Because the autopsies were not part of a prospective study, they cannot establish when changes in serotonin function occurred.

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