Serotonergic (5-HT) neurons project extensively in to the brainstem which helps regulate homeostatic functions such as breathing and temperature control.
Previously, abnormalities in 5-HT receptor binding had been identified in infants dying from SIDS. The authors of this study, therefore, investigated cellular defects in the 5-HT pathways of the medulla in SIDS cases.
The study revealed that the brainstems of SIDS cases had more serotonergic neurons, but less 5-HT receptors.
It is hoped that the results will provide some further evidence towards understanding SIDS.