New research into the frightening condition, pre-eclampsia, hopes to shed new light on an illness which results in the death of up to a 1,000 babies in the UK every year.
Although pre-eclampsia is potentially such a devastating condition many women do not realise they could be at risk. This is one of many reasons why the medical charity, Action Research, is investigating this condition.
Pre-eclampsia is a common and dangerous condition which occurs only in pregnancy and can affect both mother and baby. Its cause remains a mystery and it affects large numbers of pregnant women. Severe cases can lead to death of either mother or baby.
Symptoms usually occur in the second half of pregnancy and are detected through raised blood pressure and protein in the urine. Many women display no symptoms, but severe cases can feel very like a viral infection, with abdominal pain, vomiting and headaches. Some women may put on abnormal amounts of weight, and have swollen legs, hands and face.
In the latest Action Research funded project, Professor Christopher Redman, at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, will investigate the role played by nitric oxide in relation to an inflammatory response during pregnancy in women with pre-eclampsia. This research should help in the development of new and better treatments.
In the last grant round Action Research awarded over half a million pounds towards research related to childhood disease and disability.
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