Genetic changes that may predispose women to pre-eclampsia foundMarch 23rd, 2011 - 1:05 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 23 (ANI): A team of scientists have discovered genetic defects that appear to predispose women to a common pregnancy-related medical problem called preeclampsia that can threaten the life of both baby and mother.
Lead investigator Jane Salmon, a rheumatologist and senior scientist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and colleagues uncovered genetic mutations in women with the autoimmune diseases associated with increased risk of preeclampsia, as well as in patients with preeclampsia who did not have an autoimmune disease.
Preeclampsia affects up to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States. The condition claims the lives of more than 60,000 women each year in developing countries. It is diagnosed by the onset of high blood pressure and appearance of protein in the urine.
In the study, Salmon and colleagues focused on women with systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, which are autoimmune diseases.
The study authors hypothesized that genetic variations in proteins that regulate the complement pathway (a series of factors that provides protection from invading microbes) lead to unchecked inflammation, and that such impaired complement regulation, when it occurs in the placenta, may trigger preeclampsia.
The findings appear in an article in this week’s PLoS Medicine, a peer-reviewed open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science. (ANI)
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Tags: antibody syndrome, autoimmune disease, autoimmune diseases, complement pathway, genetic changes, genetic defects, genetic mutations, genetic variations, high blood pressure, medical problem, microbes, placenta, plos medicine, pre eclampsia, preeclampsia, pregnancies, protein in the urine, public library of science, study authors, systemic lupus erythematosus