New research out of Queen's University has shown that anti-inflammatory drugs could be beneficial in the treatment of abnormal maternal inflammation during pregnancy, a condition that can cause serious diseases like pre-eclampsia and can lead to small babies.
Professor Charles Graham (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) worked on the project along with lead author Tiziana Cotechini (PhD student, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) and co-authors Maria Komisarenko, Arissa Sperou, Shannyn Macdonald-Goodfellow and Michael A. Adams.
"Babies who are born too small are referred to as growth restricted," says Professor Graham. "These babies are at an increased risk of suffering from diabetes and heart disease in their adult lives. Many of these growth-restricted babies are born to women suffering from pre-eclampsia, a disease often associated with excessive maternal inflammation during pregnancy."
According to the research, there are currently no effective treatments to prevent fetal growth restriction or pre-eclampsia as doctors do not fully understand the factors that cause these diseases.
"We believe that excessive maternal inflammation during pregnancy restricts blood flow to the placenta which leads to small babies and pre-eclampsia," says Professor Graham.
This new research shows that abnormal maternal inflammation may be an important factor that causes certain complications of pregnancy. The research group will continue investigating the role of inflammation in diseases of pregnancy and how anti-inflammatory drugs may be a beneficial treatment option.
The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine: jem.rupress.org/content/early/2013/12/30/jem.20130295.abstract