by Catharine Richert
In 2004, Dr. Michael Ackerman got an unexpected phone call. On the other end of the line was a medical examiner in Kentucky who had recently performed a befuddling autopsy on a 12-year-old Amish girl. “He was perplexed why this seemingly healthy Amish child died suddenly during play,” said Ackerman, a genetic cardiologist at Mayo Clinic who studies why some young people die unexpectedly. “And he says, ‘I have DNA for you.’”
Reach: Minnesota Public Radio operates 43 stations and serves virtually all of Minnesota and parts of the surrounding states. MPR has more than 100,000 members and more than 900,000 listeners each week, which is the largest audience of any regional public radio network.
Context: Researchers used post-mortem genetic testing to find the underlying cause of multiple sudden deaths in young people and sudden cardiac arrests in two large Amish families.
Using an exome molecular autopsy, Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., and his associates conducted genetic testing of four siblings who each died suddenly during exercise. Dr. Ackerman is a genetic cardiologist and director of the Windland Smith Rice Comprehensive Sudden Cardiac Death Program at Mayo Clinic. The findings are published in JAMA Cardiology. Dr. Ackerman is the senior author.
You can learn more about the research on Mayo Clinic News Network.
Contact: Terri Malloy