Groundbreaking Discovery: potential cure for preeclampsia!

Preeclampsia is one of the many deadly diseases that can occur during pregnancy. What is even more daunting about it, though, is the fact that it cannot be cured without delivering the baby early. But what if I told you that the same protein thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease (cis P-tau) is also the culprit behind preeclampsia?

Yes, you read that right. The cis P-tau protein was found for the first time outside the brain: in the blood and placenta of women suffering from preeclampsia. This not only gives insight into the connection between preeclampsia and brain health, but also leads to the discovery of a potential cure. Isn’t that amazing? A disease that caused 10% of maternal deaths worldwide could be treated without inducing birth!

Behind the scenes of preeclampsia

But what exactly is the cis P-tau protein and how does the body synthesise it? Well, until now, it was considered a biomarker for Alzheimer’s, strokes and other neurological disorders. And what is even more fascinating about it, is that it’s also linked to cancer! Essentially, the body produces an enzyme called Pin1, that keeps all the proteins in check. This is a stress enzyme, meaning it changes its structure depending on the environment, toxins, physiological changes, etc. Pin1 increases its activity in cancers, so it is found in cancerous stem cells in particular.

In neurological diseases and preeclampsia, Pin1 becomes inactive. Thus, the normal tau protein, which was previously kept in shape by Pin1, becomes its misshapen form: cis P-tau. To sum up, too much Pin1 leads to cancer, while too little causes neurological diseases and preeclampsia. Having discovered cis P-tau’s implication in the disease, researchers have tested an antibody that targets the protein in mice with preeclampsia. The results were truly remarkable, as all the symptoms of preeclampsia were reversed and the protein was significantly depleted. 

 Science is the path to the future and all the people involved are the ones paving it. It is not everyday that we get to see a discovery that has the potential to save so many lives. If you found this article interesting and want to take part in shaping the future, stay tuned and stay curious with us! You can read the full article here. See you next time.

About the author…

Hello! My name is Ilinca and I am a third year medical student that dabbles in a little bit of everything. I have an undying thirst for knowledge and a great talent for procrastination. Oh and I love hairless cats with all my heart!

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