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[Neuroscience] Love deprivation seems a plausible to be crucially involved cause behind many cases of SIDS

Peter F 19eimc_minus19 at ozemail.com.au
Tue Mar 28 08:47:43 EST 2006

Today I read a short news item in New Scientist that relayed something about 
research relevant to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome done by Jan-Marino Ramirez 
of University of Chicago (originally reported in The Journal of Neuroscience 
vol 26 page 2623). It stated that his and his collaborators' reseach had 
confirmed that serotonin activates "pacemaker" neurons in the medulla - 
cells that promote the gasping/anti-suffocation reflex.

The short article also mentioned that other studies have found that victims 
of SIDS have fewer serotonin receptors in the same brain region.

My comment:

An environment that chronically compromises infants' innate need for optimal 
stimulation and relaxing reassurance tend to cause "specific/synaptic 
hibernation" and a depression/depletion of serotonergic activity (and of 
course also a corresponding increase of opioidergic activity).

Not that this scenario cannot crucially combine with the ordinarily 
considered contributory factors, such as smoke-polluted air, a face-down 
sleeping position, and overheating.

By "love deprivation" I refer to a basically detrimental conditioning of 
brain-chemistry and neural  functions caused by relatively fixed sources of 
adversely influential environmental features;
Slightly less generally put: I refer to the negation or absence of  the need 
for comforting and stimulating touch, and close physical proximity and a 
sufficient daily dose of healthy emotional interactivity provided 
(preferably) by parents;
And, for something really specific and of particular relevance to SIDS:
a lack of a comforting physical closeness caused by the common idea and 
insistence that babies should sleep and learn to go to sleep in a separate 
room away from their parents.


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