Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Testing for Proteins May Detect Early Pre-Eclampsia

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Testing for Proteins May Detect Early Pre-Eclampsia

Article excerpt

Pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening condition that strikes pregnant women, may be involved in the same mechanism as Alzheimer's disease and mad cow disease. Misfolded proteins, including those present in patients with Alzheimer's disease, clump in the urine of women with pre-eclampsia. These twisted proteins are produced by the placenta, a pancake-shaped organ that fuses to the uterine wall añd nourishes a fetus in the womb. Researchers conducting a new study stated that a urine test might be able to detect the abnormal proteins up to 10 weeks before symptoms of pre-eclampsia would normally be exhibited.

The blood pressure level can become dangerously high if pre-eclampr sia complicates a pregnancy to the point of damaging the placenta. Preeclampsia affects about 5 to 10 percent of pregnancies. Pre-eclampsia, as well as other high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy, kills about 76,000 women and 500,000 babies every year worldwide. The condition usually arises after 20 weeks of gestation.

The exact cause of pre-eclampsia remains unknown, and the only treatment, is to deliver the baby and the placenta. …

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