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Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (called bangungot in the Philippines, lai tai in Thailand, and hukuri in Japan) is sudden unexpected death of adolescents and adults during sleep. Bangungot is rarely observed in the Western world, and appears to occur more commonly among young men in East and Southeast Asian countries. The term originated from the Tagalog word meaning "bad dream." The root of this term is the fact that survivors of bangungot often describe dreaming about falling into a bottomless pit. While experiencing this, the person is aware that he is dreaming but feels like there is something that stops him from moving and awaking.

SUDS has been cloaked in superstition. In Thailand it is particularly believed to be linked to eating rice cakes. Filipinos believe ingesting high levels of carbohydrates just before sleeping causes bangungot.

It has only been recently that the scientific world has begun to understand this syndrome. Victims of bangungot have not been found to have any organic heart diseases or structural heart problems.

However, cardiac activity during SUDS episodes indicates irregular heart rhythms and ventricular fibrillation. The victim survives this episode if the heart's rhythm goes back to normal. Older folks in the Philippines recommend trying wiggling the big toe while experiencing this to snap back.

Ongoing genetic studies by Spanish electrophysiologist Dr. Josep Brugada Terradellas show that SUDS results from mutations in the cardiac sodium channel gene. This means that it is a chromosomal problem, which is why it runs in families. Thus, doctors say that families who have kin that have suffered from or died of SUDS must see a heart specialist.

In the Philippines, most cases of bangungot have been linked with Acute Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis, whereas in Thailand and Laos, bangungot (or in their term, Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) is caused by the Brugada syndrome.[1]

Bangungot is also depicted in the Philippines as a mythological creature called batibat. This hag-like creature sits on the victim's face so as to immobilize and suffocate him.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ (link broken as of 03 October, 2007).
  • Tan, Michael (29 August, 2000), " ", Philippine Daily Inquirer,
  • Tan, Michael (1 April, 2002), " ", Philippine Daily Inquirer,
  • Tan, Michael (18 April, 2002), " ", Philippine Daily Inquirer,
  • Agence France Presse (8 April, 2002), " ", The Borneo Post,

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bangungot". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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