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Featured Clinical Reviews

November 1, 2006

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Is Serotonin the Key Factor?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 2006;296(17):2143-2144. doi:10.1001/jama.296.17.2143

Neuropathological studies have identified a key role for the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) pathways in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Panigrahy et al1 reported a decrease in 5-HT receptor binding in the arcuate nucleus, raphé obscurus, and other medullary regions that contain 5-HT cell bodies in SIDS cases in the United States. Similarly, Ozawa and Okado2 reported a decrease in 5-HT receptor binding in the dorsal nucleus of the vagus, solitary nucleus, and ventrolateral medulla in SIDS cases in Japan. Subsequently, Kinney et al3 confirmed their prior observations of altered 5-HT receptor binding in medullary regions in Native American Indians, a group at high risk for SIDS.

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