((From Los Angeles Times January 11, 1987)
April, 1983, at least 130 Southeast Asian refugees have left this world
in essentially the same way.
They cried out in their sleep. And then
Medical authorities call this Asian Death Syndrome. The refugees have various names for it, one of them being Night Terror.
"In the Philippines, it's called bangungut, in Japan pokkuri, in Thailand something else," says Dr. Robert Kirschner. "But it all roughly translates as the same thing: nightmare death."
a deputy Cook County medical examiner, Kirschner has investigated five
nightmare deaths himself, including a Laotian father and son who died in
a Northside Chicago apartment--in bed, asleep, and only 15 months
"The people in their neighborhood are terrified," Kirschner says.
Pathologist Studies Problem
by curiosity and concern, Kirschner, an associate professor of
pathology at the University of Chicago, undertook a systematic study of
the problem. His results, based on data from the federal Centers for
Disease Control and autopsies of 18 night terror victims, were recently
reported in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
had much in common, Kirschner found, first and foremost that nothing
seemed to be wrong with them before they suddenly died.
Read Full Story: Los Angeles Times