This research was completed on 31 May 2004
|Project Leader||Dr G N Europe-Finner PhD and Professor S C Robson MD, MRCOG.|
|Location||Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.|
|Grant awarded||7 March 2002|
|Start date||1 June 2002|
|End date||31 May 2004|
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Approximately 7-10% of pregnancies end with delivery before 'full term', and babies born prematurely risk suffering from long term physical or mental disability. Furthermore, of those babies that die shortly after birth, up to 65% were premature. Despite this, in many cases, the cause of premature labour remains a mystery. This may be because the mechanisms controlling labour are poorly understood. As a consequence, present-day treatments for premature labour remain ineffective. These researchers aim to improve our understanding of the mechanisms controlling muscular contractions in the uterus by studying the action of a specific protein that relaxes the uterus during pregnancy. This could lead to the development of new treatments for premature labour, with important consequences for the prevention of one of the commonest causes of death and disability in modern society.