Monoamine Oxidase A Gene Polymorphism and the Pathogenesis of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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To test the hypothesis that there is a significant association between functionally relevant allelic variants of the monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) polymorphism and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Study design

In a case-control study of 142 cases of SIDS and 280 sex-matched control cases, the distribution of allelic and genotype variants of a promoter polymorphism of the MAO-A gene was examined using polymerase chain reaction locus amplification and fluorescence based fragment length analysis.


There was a significantly differential distribution of allelic and genotype variants between females with SIDS and controls. Moreover, there was a significant association between SIDS in females and allelic and genotype variants, each related to a higher transcriptional activity at the MAO-A locus.


Our results suggest a role of MAO-A in female SIDS pathogenesis exerted by functionally relevant allelic and genotype variants of the MAO-A polymorphism. However, with the complex and inconsistent evidence available to date, the impact of the MAO-A promoter polymorphism on SIDS etiology remains unclear.

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