Gene variants predisposing to SIDS: current knowledge
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- Opdal, S.H. & Rognum, T.O. Forensic Sci Med Pathol (2011) 7: 26. doi:10.1007/s12024-010-9182-9
Genetic risk factors play a role in sudden unexpected infant death; either as a cause of death, such as in cases with medium-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency and cardiac arrest due to long QT syndrome, or as predisposing factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Most likely genetic predisposition to SIDS represent a polygenic inheritance pattern leading to sudden death when combined with other risk factors, such as a vulnerable developmental stage of the central nervous system and/or the immune system, in addition to environmental risk factors, such as a common cold or prone sleeping position. Genes involved in the regulation of the immune system, cardiac function, the serotonergic network and brain function and development have so far emerged as the most important with respect to SIDS. The purpose of the present paper is to survey current knowledge on SIDS and possible genetic contributions.