Many parents know the frustration and misery of having an infant with colic.
Try as they might, there often seems to be no way for concerned parents to calm a crying child.
An infant experiencing colic may be unable to stop crying due to the brain’s sub-systems failing to stop the agitated breathing cycle, scaring the child into continuing to cry.
“What if, as regards the seemingly inconsolable crying of colic, the infant is as much a victim as its parents? “What if the infant has no control whatsoever over stopping its crying nor the involuntary breathing that sustains it, with voice and breath becoming temporarily locked together, not permitting the infant to disassociate one from the another?
More than 2,000 infants die each year in the US from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Studies have linked the condition, in which babies stop breathing while sleeping, with drops in the activity of serotonin-producing neurons in the brain.
This same technique can be used safely on infants during inconsolable crying, to see if the activity occurs where the model predicts.
“We do hope that wherever we may be wrong or incomplete, these ideas will refresh and stimulate an entirely new direction of research into what makes us humans susceptible to these seemingly very different phenomena, and colic,” Mc Kenna says, “two areas where new ideas are always both welcomed and needed.” Wendy Middlemiss of the University of North Texas and Mary S.
It’s still unclear whether SIDS stems from the acute inhibition of serotonin neurons.
Kevin Cummings, a biomedical scientist at the University of Missouri who wasn’t involved in the study, is skeptical that that’s the case.