Metabolomics are analyzes of an organism's metabolome, which can be described as the total amount of small molecules, with special focus on those that are part of the metabolism. Analyzers of a wide range of small analytes are a growing field of research in diagnostics and treatment, and have yielded results in areas such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, obesity and screening of metabolic diseases in newborns.As metabolomics is a relatively young methodology, it is difficult to get published articles where it is applied to SIDS. An organism's response to infections involves early changes in metabolism. Inflammatory responses supply more blood to internal organs and lead to the secretion of catabolic signals to develop the energy supply, which causes difficult changes in the blood's metabolites. When healthy people are injected with bacterial components (a model called endotoxemia), one can use metabolomics to monitor the first changes in organizations when challenged by an infection. Significant changes can be detected already after a while, while more dramatic changes in the pattern of lipids and amino acids can be detected after 6 hours. Also more complex infection models have been studied with metabolomics methods. Studies in neonates with sepsis have shown significant differences in the metabolite pattern in both blood and urine), and the method shows potential as a tool for early diagnosis. A global metabolic screening will provide new knowledge about the causes of SIDS and SUDC.
We will carry out the work in collaboration with the Department of Medical Biochemistry (Rikshospitalet) represented by Dr. Katja Benedikte Elgstøen, Dr. Alexander Dominic Rowe and PhD student Hanne Bendiksen Skogvold. They have extensive experience with metabolomics and LC / MS, and are responsible for the nationwide newborn screening.