Tuesday October 24, 2017

Drug prescribed to Pregnant Women with history of delivering Premature Babies may do more Harm than Good: Study

The drug, mostly prescribed to pregnant women with a history of delivering premture babies may even increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes

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Medicines (representational Image), wikimedia

New York, March 15, 2017: A drug commonly prescribed to pregnant women with a history of delivering premature babies may do more harm than good, says a study.

Far from providing any benefit, this drug — known by the brand name Makena — may even increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes, said the study published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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“Our study showed the drug to be ineffective, and it has a side effect,” said first author of the study David Nelson, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern) in the US.

The drug, a synthetic progestogen hormone called 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 to treat women at risk of delivering a second premature baby.

The FDA gave the drug accelerated approval in part due to findings in a 2003 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that the drug reduced the likelihood of a repeat preterm delivery.

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However, Makena has been a source of debate among doctors because of the questions raised about the 2003 findings.

Earlier research findings on the benefit of 17-OHPC have been mixed, said Kenneth Leveno, senior author of the study and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern.

In the newly published study, pregnant women treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital, were offered the drug 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC) if they had a prior history of premature births and were carrying a single fetus.

The research took place from 2012 to 2016 and followed 430 women treated with the drug.

Researchers then compared the premature birth rate of those women with the historical premature birth rate of 5,787 patients seen at Parkland between 1988 and 2011 — women who also had a history of premature delivery but never took the drug.

Of the women in the study group who took the drug, 25 per cent had a premature delivery.

That compared with a 16.8 per cent preterm birth rate in the historical nondrug group.

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The rate of gestational diabetes was 13.4 per cent in women treated with the drug, compared with eight per cent in the other group, the study found.

Gestational diabetes often goes away after the birth, and therefore is not usually a serious problem for the mother, Nelson said.

However, it can lead to deliveries of larger babies and increased chances for cesarean sections and other birth complications. (IANS)

 

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Why is Kalki Koechlin Reading about Pregnancy and Post-birth Behavioral Changes? Should we expect ‘good news’ soon?

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Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 22, 2017: Actress Kalki Koechlin, who will next be seen in “Ribbon” where she is playing a young mother of a newborn baby girl, took some training on how to take care of a baby including changing nappies, for her role.

Kalki said that since she is playing a mother for the first time, it was quite fascinating for her prepare for the role, especially spending time with the baby girl, as a co-actor of the film.

ALSO READ Just in! Kalki has a crush on this Bollywood actor!

“I read various books on pregnancy and post birth behavioral changes because of that time, a woman body goes through hormonal changes. Rakhee (Sandilya, the director of the film) has a friend who is a new mother, so I used to spend a lot of time with her, learnt how to change nappy, how to give oil massage to the baby, a lot of things, I think I am a pro on that,” Kalki told IANS.

The story of “Ribbon” revolves around a young couple of where Kalki Koechlin is playing a girl, who has a journey from being single to a mother of a four-year-old daughter.

The film also features Sumeet Vyas and is scheduled to release on November 3. (IANS)

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Bacterial infection in pregnancy may up autism risk in kids

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Bacterial infection in pregnancy may up autism risk in kids. Pixabay

New York, September 15, 2017: Babies born to mothers who experience a bacterial infection severe enough to require hospitalisation during pregnancy may be at higher risk of developing autism, a study has found.

The study, conducted on mice, revealed that the composition of bacterial populations in the mother’s digestive tract can influence whether maternal infection leads to repetitive behaviour and impaired sociability — autistic-like behaviours in offspring.

Further, irregularities that the researchers call “patches” are most common in a part of the brain known as “S1DZ” and were responsible for the behavioural abnormalities seen in mice.

“We identified a very discrete brain region that seems to be modulating all the behaviours associated with this particular model of neurodevelopmental disorder,” said Gloria Choi, Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the paper appearing in the journal Nature.

A second study in the same jounal, revealed that not all mothers who experience severe infection end up having child with autism, and similarly not all the mice in the maternal inflammation model develop behavioural abnormalities.

“This suggests that inflammation during pregnancy is just one of the factors. It needs to work with additional factors to lead all the way to that outcome,” Choi said.

Moreover, the researchers found that only the offspring of mice with one specific type of harmless bacteria, known as segmented filamentous bacteria, had behavioural abnormalities and cortical patches.

When the researchers killed those bacteria with antibiotics, the mice produced normal offspring.

If validated in human studies, the findings could offer a possible way to reduce the risk of autism, which would involve blocking the function of certain strains of bacteria found in the maternal gut, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Genetic Testing Likely To Raise Thorny Ethical Issues around Pregnancy: Study

Genetic testing directly affects a woman's experience of pregnancy and may contribute to a decision not to transfer an embryo or to terminate an established pregnancy

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Genetic testing raises ethical issues of pregnancy. Pixabay

Wellington, Sep 05, 2017: Having a baby may never be the same again as increasingly sophisticated genetic testing is likely to raise thorny ethical issues, a New Zealand study said on Tuesday.

“Pregnant women now face a bewildering world of genetic testing,” said Jeanne Snelling, the lead author of the New Zealand Law Foundation Report.

Genetic testing in the reproductive context is a particularly high-stakes endeavour, Snelling said, adding that it directly affects a woman’s experience of pregnancy, and may contribute to a decision not to transfer an embryo or to terminate an established pregnancy, reports Xinhua news agency.

The study looks at a number of rapidly evolving genetic technologies that a woman may be offered, either during pregnancy or regarding embryos created by IVF (in-vitro fertilization).

A common feature of all of these tests is that they enable an increasing and significant amount of health-related information to be derived, compared with traditional prenatal tests, and all are associated with particular technical, ethical and legal challenges, Snelling said.

“The report considers how this new landscape reignites debates about the implications of new technology for women and how it affects the experience of pregnancy.” (IANS)