Amish Children’s Sudden Death Case Brought to Light by Researchers

A few years ago, an Amish family suffered a tragic loss. One of the children passed away without any logical or medical explanations. The family’s suffering didn’t stop there. After a few months, they witnessed the same fate; another of their children found its tragic yet strange end.

Six years ago, respectively, two years ago, the Amish family continued to watch their little ones passing away without finding exactly why. The autopsies didn’t bring any light, because the children’s hearts seemed normal, and other tests proved nothing is so strange as it appears to be. The family called it superstition and went on with something called “the curse of sudden death.”

The medical examiner who did the children’s autopsies decided to get help from researchers. The team of researchers from Mayo Clinic Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory started as what it appeared to be a mysterious case back in 2004.

They developed a technique dubbed the concept of the molecular autopsy, utilizing advanced genetic examination to find out the cause of death in some of the strangest cases. But that didn’t work out that well, because they still had no results. It was needed a few more years to get closer to something accurate.

Researchers Shed More Light on the Mysterious Amish Children’s Sudden Death Case

Recently, researchers from the Mayo Clinic came with the best report so far. They succeeded, with the help of new methods and technology, to find the reason for children’s sudden deaths. It appeared that all children had inherited a similar genetic mutation from their parents.

The results displayed how out of 23 young people, 18 had died of sudden deaths. All of them had inherited the mutation, the tests showing the presence of gene RYR2. Moreover, 300,000 base pairs in RYR2 had been highly multiplied.

“We finally figured it out that it was an autosomal recessive condition where both bad duplications came from both parents, and those children were unfortunate to get the double dose,” stated Michael Ackerman, director of the laboratory.

To realize the multiplication that results in sudden death, a child has to inherit a mutated gene not from one parent, but both of them. That four children that found their end so tragically, inherited the mutation. Also, being part of the Amish might be a cause because they have a modest number of ancestors, which leads to intermarriage.