SIDS and inner ear damage

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SkepticalSemite
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SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by SkepticalSemite » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:17 pm

http://content.usatoday.com/communities ... Sr7j_nF98F

What are your thoughts on this?
Ears important for breathing? I thought the medulla (brainstem) was the respiratory center in the brain, not the ears, and the carotids monitor O2 and CO2 in the blood, not the inner ear.

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:03 am

Well, we learn new things all the time I guess.

I don't really have anything to add to what's in the article as this isn't an area in which I have any expertise. It's interesting information though. As with any new finding, further studies are probably needed to confirm it. One study could be wrong after all. Or it could be more complicated somehow. That's about all I can really add to the discussion for now.
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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by SkepticalSemite » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:33 am

Here's what I don't understand;
the ears aren't said to contain a majorly important chemoreceptor system. You have chemoreceptors in your neck and also the brainstem.

So I can't understand why they would quit responding to increased CO2 levels considering the chemoreceptors are also in the neck and brainstem (central and peripheral) which are large compared to the alleged chemoreceptor system in the ears.

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by Doctor X » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:48 am

The respiratory centers are far lower than the vestibular and cochlear inputs in the brain stem. So unless someone demonstrates a connection between the inner ear apparatus to these centers--and perhaps they have--I need a mechanism.

Further, I would like to know how the "2000" cases are confirmed to be SIDS rather than something else like murder, neglect, the Lamia, et cetera.

What is this "damage" to the "inner ear?" How did it happen? Is it congenital? In that case bilateral damage generally results in abnormalities in other areas.

I am sure these questions will be answered as more research is done.

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by SkepticalSemite » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:30 pm

Reuben suggested a defect as a result of an insult occurring during birth, or something to that extent.
I don't see why chemoreceptors in the brainstem would need to expand outwards towards the ears specifically, when they monitor carbon dioxide (carbonic acid) levels in the vicinity of the spinal fluid, not the vestibular fluid.
Take note he based this experiment on mice, I'm no rodent expert but I'd think mouse brains are a lot different to human brains.
He also postulates that inner ear damage results in breathing disturbances.

Though the article is old (2011), I saw this man in the news a week ago (Yahoo News), now proclaiming that he 'knows' this causes SIDS.

I knew a girl who'd had meningitis when she was small, resulting in her having no balance and profound hearing loss, but she used to swim, underwater, and couldn't hold her breath any longer than I or anyone else could. She had difficulty with balance and of course hearing but she never mentioned breathing problems.

The inner ear isn't really close to the brainstem, though it isn't unreasonable to suggest that something that could damage the inner ear could also travel to the brainstem and damage those areas if the network is shared, however Reuben seems to postulate the ears themselves are involved independent of the brainstem.

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by Doctor X » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:27 pm

What it would be is the signals from the inner ear could trigger something in relevant region of the brain stem.

Was looking for a good version of it, but I am pressed for time:

Image

compare the location of the vestibular nuclei:

Image

which are located primarily rostral and dorsal to the chemocenter. So he would have to show some connection between those nuclei.

Here is a better picture to compare:

Image

That he is proclaiming this in the news is one of the Cardinal Signs of Junk Science.

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by SkepticalSemite » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:54 am

Thanks for the info and the diagrams. I wouldn't have thought the chemoreceptors and the ears would have been connected but left the idea open since I'm not an expert on neurology.

Couldn't hearing damage be an indication of brainstem damage in some cases? It would explain Reuben's observations of poor hearing screenings in his alleged ''SIDS infants''. Also, a quick Google image search shows that mouse brains are a lot different to human brains, however he managed to find his way in the news a few days ago, with no new experiments, to announce that his 2011 experiment had been a medical breakthrough and that he believes inner ear damage causes SIDS.

I also don't think this reflex to gasp is diminished during sleep (my asthma as a child affirmed this), so putting the mice to sleep seemed redundant.

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by Doctor X » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:12 am

SkepticalSemite wrote:Couldn't hearing damage be an indication of brainstem damage in some cases? It would explain Reuben's observations of poor hearing screenings. . . .
And how does he do these screenings? Was his study retrospective? I doubt it was prospective: checking the hearing on a slew of neonates then seeing which one of them bites the dust.

Nevertheless, "hearing damage" can mean anything from failure to develop the acoustic organs--ear, canal, stapes and the like--before you get to the brain stem. Further, bilateral damage would be extraordinary at the brainstem level without affecting a whole of other things. Now I thought he was talking about the vestibular system. It is a different set of nuclei than the auditory nuclei. To have that all affect in the brain stem without any other signs. Hath he not heard of Odine's Curse?
Also, a quick Google image search shows that mouse brains are a lot different to human brains. . . .
They . . . are . . . but the basic structure and organization is the same.
however he managed to find his way in the news a few days ago, with no new experiments, to announce that his 2011 experiment had been a medical breakthrough and that he believes inner ear damage causes SIDS.
And there is where he fails. Reports to the media rather than to peer-review journals. This would be publishable in Nature and Science, let alone NEJM or The Lancet. Further, he offers no explanation for an "inner ear"--which is the auditory and vestibulary apparatus in the petrous temporal bone--vestibules, semi-circular canals, ear drum, "mallet," "stirrup," all of that--effecting the respiratory centers.
I also don't think this reflex to gasp is diminished during sleep, so putting the mice to sleep seemed redundant.
Depends on what you put them to sleep with. Why alcoholics should not down barbiturates. So we can add, "do not does infants with barbiturates after you ply them with whisky" to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting.

This is more and more appearing to meet Prof. Park's definition of "Voodoo Science."

But . . . as I tell everyone who claims the "miracle cure" of something . . . if it works, it will work under scrutiny.

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by SkepticalSemite » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:47 pm

Nonetheless his study on mice is being taken seriously in some medical-based literature on SIDS. Searching his name delivers some results where he is quoted. For all that I know his study has neither been replicated nor has he proven that the chemoreceptors in humans lie in the vestibular system. 2/3 of the CO2 response is mediated via chemoreceptors near the pons (in the diagram). 1/3rd of it is mediated via the carotid bodies.
I also fail to see how the fact that the vestibular system can affect breathing rate based on position (not denying that) automatically means dysfunction in that area could lead to fatal breathing disorders. A person can consciously affect his or her breathing rate, to some extent that is before the medulla's failsafes go off. eg it's impossible to try and breathe at 2 standard breaths per minute without the brain forcing it.

I think it's much more likely that SIDS is just an infant version of SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) .. more common in infants, as neither their brain or heart are fully developed. How many of these 'SIDS infants' had hearing loss compared to the quantity of 'SIDS cases' in total?

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by Doctor X » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:36 pm

Exactly.

Though the vestibular system is separate from the auditory system. So which one is responsible? If it is the vestibular than how does loss of hearing--which you demonstrate on an infant how?--come into play unless he argues for damage to the sensory organs affects both.

But bilaterally?

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
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"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

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Re: SIDS and inner ear damage

Post by SkepticalSemite » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:27 pm

His theory is inconsistent
In some articles he mentions a vague term of 'inner ear damage', while in others he mentions the vestibular system. In others still he mentions that the 'SIDS infants' he studied scored 'poorly' on hearing screenings in their right ear, then goes on to assert that vestibular hair cells contain chemoreceptors. This is also confusing since the USA Today article speaks of these hair cells measuring CO2 'in the air'. The vestibular system is not part of the external ear.