Queen Square Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases


Global Media Interest in MRC Centre Channelopathy Study Published in the Lancet

3 April 2018

A new MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases study provides the first evidence that genetic impairment of respiratory muscles is potentially important in sudden infant death syndrome (also known as Cot Death).

Global attention included extensive media interest including interviews with Professor M Hanna and Dr E Matthews on Channel 4 News, ITV News and Channel 5 News. The research was also mentioned by the Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, Independent and Washington Post, and featured by CNN Health, NBC News and CBS News.

"Our study is the first to link a genetic cause of weaker breathing muscles with sudden infant death syndrome, and suggests that genes controlling breathing muscle function could be important in this condition. However, more research will be needed to confirm and fully understand this link," said the study's senior author Professor Michael Hanna (UCL Institute of Neurology).

"The genetic mutation we found is not the only cause of sudden infant death syndrome, and may interact with other factors, and would not necessarily play a role in every case," said last author Dr Emma Matthews (UCL Institute of Neurology).

Lancet article

General media coverage