Scientists Claim to Find Cause of Pregnancy Complication Pre-eclampsia

A study published in the journal Nature claims to have found traces to a complication that occurs during pregnancy and results in the demise of babies.

Researchers from Cambridge and Nottingham Universities carried out the research. They laid emphasis on pregnancy related complication called pre-eclampsia that triggers blood pressure of pregnant women.

The pre-eclampsia condition causes problem in 7% of the pregnancies. Hormones known as angiotensins, which narrow blood vessels, control blood pressure in the body.

In their research, the scientists analyzed the protein angiotensinogen that discharges angiotensin, with a very powerful X-ray beam. They found that angiotensinogen on getting reacted with oxygen alters its shape, which makes it allowable to get contacted by an enzyme called renin. Then, renin initiates the release of the angiotensin hormone that leads to increase in blood pressure.

The findings could prove beneficial for developing new drugs targeting the specific protein that leads to pre-eclampsia. The already existing drugs such as ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors are helpful in later stages of the condition only.

"This research is of the highest quality and offers real hope for developing strategies to prevent or treat this dangerous condition by targeting the process that these scientists have identified", said Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation.