Scientists at Sheffield University have discovered that a protein which is secreted when a human egg is fertilised could be the answer to ending recurrent miscarriages, and treating conditions in expectant mothers. The protein syncytin-1 could be the answer for treating pre-eclampsia which causes high blood pressure in expectant mothers, and for investigating recurrent miscarriages.
The study by Sheffield University shows that the protein is released earlier than was initially thought. This could mean the development of blood tests which would allow doctors to predict potential miscarriages or symptoms of pre-eclampsia and thus develop appropriate therapies.
The protein syncytin-1 plays a vital role in the development of a healthy embryo, the protein is released as the human egg is fertilised and falls down the fallopian tubes. The protein then enables the embryo to bury itself within the uterus’s lining as well as helping to form the placenta. The treatment for pre-eclampsia is to induce expectant mothers early at 37-38 weeks, which could create health risks for the mother and baby. This study could create safer treatments for the condition which the NHS says affects around 6% of expectant mothers in the UK.
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