February 20, 2020

Amish kids were dying mysteriously. Mayo scientists solved it. But can they treat it?

By Karl Oestreich

MPR News
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.’”

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Previous coverage:
No one knew why some Amish children were dying suddenly, now researchers have some answers

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

Tags: David Tester, Dr. Michael Ackerman, MPR News, Uncategorized, Uncategorized, Windland Smith Rice Comprehensive Sudden Cardiac Death Program

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