Friday, March 31, 2006

"Serotonin Levels" Theory for SIDS Disproved

29 March 2006

Research* published this month in the "Journal of Neuroscience" claiming that disturbed serotonin levels in babies may be linked to cot death (SIDS) is already disproved, says New Zealand cot death expert Dr Jim Sprott.

A research team headed by physiologist Dr Andrew Tryba (Medical College of Wisconsin) claims that findings relating to serotonin 5-HT2A receptors in mice suggest that if serotonin levels in babies are disturbed, babies may not respond appropriately in situations where they are deprived of oxygen.

"The idea that cot death may be caused by disturbed serotonin levels or faulty serotonin receptors in babies can be refuted in a few sentences," said Dr Sprott. "It is already disproved by well-established cot death epidemiology."

Statistics show that the incidence of cot death rises with birth order: the risk rises from first babies to second babies in families; and from second babies to third babies; and rises again for later babies. Cot death risk is highest among babies of solo parents.

"The rising rate of cot death from one sibling to the next disproves any theory that cot death is linked to disturbed serotonin levels," stated Dr Sprott. "Quite obviously, whether or not babies have disturbed serotonin levels or faulty serotonin receptors is not linked to whether they are first, second or third babies in families, or whether they were born to solo parents."

Dr Sprott states that the rising rate of cot death from one sibling to the next is explained by the toxic gas theory for cot death: Cot death is caused by certain toxic gases generated in mattresses (and other bedding), and the risk of exposure to those gases rises as mattresses are re-used from one baby to the next.**

"Here in New Zealand we've been wrapping babies' mattresses for cot death prevention for eleven years," said Dr Sprott. "Since mattress-wrapping began, the New Zealand nationwide cot death rate is down by 62% and the Pakeha*** ethnic rate is down by about 76%. And there have been no reported cot deaths on wrapped mattresses - regardless of whether the babies had disturbed serotonin levels."

Dr Tryba stated that further research was needed to establish a connection between disturbed serotonin levels and cot death, following which screening of babies for potential risk could be appropriate.

"Both this further research and the screening of babies would be a waste of money," said Dr Sprott. "It is already proved by well-known epidemiology that cot death is not linked to disturbed serotonin levels or faulty serotonin receptors in babies."


* Gasping Activity In Vitro: A Rhythm Dependent on 5-HT2A Receptors, The Journal of Neuroscience 2006;26(10):2623-2634.
** Case-control study of sudden infant death syndrome in Scotland, 1992-5, British Medical Journal 1997;314:1516-20; Used infant mattresses and sudden infant death syndrome in Scotland: case-control study, British Medical Journal 2002;325:1007-1009.
*** Note for overseas readers: "Pakeha" means non-Maori non-Pacific Island. The Pakeha ethnic group comprises 80% of the New Zealand population, and 91% of this group are of European descent.

Media release issued by:
Consulting chemist & forensic scientist
10 Combes Road
Auckland 1005
Phone/fax: +64-9-5231150

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Why THEY Can't See the True Cause of SIDS

Before I start, I want to talk about the term "SIDS." I know that over time, some babies' deaths were mislabeled. For instance, it took a while for suffocation deaths and true unknown deaths to be separated and correctly labeled. There have also been a lot of vaccine deaths labeled as SIDS. But no matter what the history of the term, we all know that there are some babies dying from unknown causes that continue to perplex many scientists (but not all). These are the babies we are talking about.

Who are "they"? First, they are the orthodox SIDS researchers who are paid to find a "cure." Second, they are the SIDS organizations taking in funds to find a "cure." Third, they are parents who have lost babies to SIDS, who have been misled by the first two groups, and whose mission it is to raise awareness and money so that a "cure" can be found. So...why is it that Barry Richardson and TJ Sprott, who discovered the toxic gas explanation for crib death, are shut out by all three groups, even though their SIDS prevention method has been 100% successful since 1989? Okay, I won't exaggerate...I'm sure SOME scientists, SOME organizations (haven't found another yet) and SOME SIDS parents have "seen the light." But overall, these groups denying the validity of the theory is doing nothing but keeping the information from spreading across the globe, since THEY are viewed as the crib death/ SIDS experts and the only ones people should listen to. So why are THEY keeping the true cause of SIDS from all of us?

1. Money. Researchers are getting paid to find something; as long as it's not found, they have a job. As long as they keep looking, they will get a paycheck. Ironically, the CotLife 2000 campaign, the work of Dr. TJ Sprott, has provided a method of 100% SIDS protection (according to statistics) and Dr. Sprott makes no money off of his efforts. You don't always get what you pay for. Interestingly, some scientists are leaving SIDS research because the numbers of SIDS deaths continue to go down. Billions of dollars are spent on SIDS research, and our US tax money funds research as well. Some organizations are now expanding their services to include still birth and miscarriage. With the SIDS rates declining (and oddly these organizations take credit for that; not sure why) they find it necessary to add these services so that they can continue to ask for money, receive tax money, and pay those on payroll who would lose their job if they didn't pretend to need it so desperately.
2. Pride. When you have worked for decades to find a cure to something, you sure as heck aren't going to concede that easily. Especially when you need the money (see #1). Google AIDS. After two decades, there are still scientists (and the list is growing) that contend HIV does not cause AIDS. The HIV claim was made because US and France were battling who could discover the cause of AIDS...and a rush to find the cause has misled the world about AIDS. That is pride.
3. Fear. Parents who have lost babies to SIDS have a fear that there was something that they could have done to prevent SIDS and they didn't do it. Again, not ALL parents who have lost babies to SIDS feel this way, but the most vocal do- the ones who hang out on SIDS boards or become activists supporting the SIDS organizations. These parents are very defensive when it comes to SIDS, and ironically, they will probably not accept any explanation. Explanations don't bring babies back! Sadly, these parents could be helping more people than any of us if they would examine the evidence of the toxic gas theory, accept it, and vocalize it.

Unfortunately for babies, money, pride, and fear are preventing the necessary information from becoming mainstream. The truth about SIDS is this:
  • The toxic gas theory for crib death states that toxic nerve gases are coming from babies' mattresses (as well as adult mattresses) leading to babies' deaths
  • You can prevent these toxic nerve gases from entering your baby's air space by wrapping his mattress with a BabeSafe mattress cover
  • The toxic gas theory and mattress wrapping have been proven successful since not one baby sleeping on a wrapped mattress has died since mattress wrapping commenced over 10 years ago.
In the next 10 years, the SIDS industry will have a completely different face. The numbers will be even lower, the money will slow to a halt, and you will probably even see some researchers join the ranks of the "toxic gas party." Who knows how long it will take for "mainstream" SIDS organizations to see what we know? Instead of giving your money to find the "cure," buy mattress covers for those who can't afford them...SIDS occurs most often in socio-economically disadvantaged groups. Ask a SIDS researcher why that is, and they will probably shrug their shoulders!