Research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (cont.)
The Institute maintains a Web site for the Back to Sleep campaign, which outlines the history of the campaign and of SIDS in the United States, provides general information about SIDS and ways to reduce the risk of SIDS, and offers free materials for learning more about SIDS risk reduction. You can also call 1-800-505-CRIB (1-800-505-2742) to order free Back to Sleep materials.
NICHD Research on SIDS
The NICHD has been working to reduce the number of SIDS deaths, both through the Back to Sleep campaign, and through research into the causes and features of SIDS.
Recent research suggests that many SIDS babies are born with brain defects that may increase their risk of SIDS. Studies of SIDS victims show that many SIDS infants have an abnormality in a network of neurons in the brainstem that are involved in the developing and controlling blood pressure and breathing, temperature regulation, and sleep and waking. Although this brain defect may not be the sole cause for SIDS, researchers have some ideas about how the brain problem may be involved in SIDS:
A recent study also found a greater risk of SIDS among babies who were regularly placed on their backs to sleep, but were switched to the less-familiar stomach sleeping position.
Other research, funded by the NICHD, helped to identify risks for SIDS among Native American communities. The findings of this study have been vital in shaping the campaign's outreach project for American Indian communities, in hopes of finding ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Source: National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov)
Last Editorial Review: 12/3/2004