Possible Role of Preeclampsia/Eclampsia in
Evolution of Human Reproduction
Preeclampsia is a consequence of the defective implantation of the placenta that occurs during the second phase of trophoblastic (advanced blastocyst) invasion. There is a deep penetration into the uterine wall because of the increased energy demands of the human fetus. With preeclampsia, pregnant women exhibit increased blood pressure (gestational hypertension), and both the mother and the infant are threatened accordingly. Preeclampsia describes the symptoms that lead to eclampsia: maternal seizures and epileptic convulsions, accounting for about 70,000 deaths of women worldwide. This type of hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP) is mostly associated with first pregnancies and more specifically with women who have not sexually cohabited with their male partners for a long period (4-5 months). Thus, the longer the father exchanges his body fluids with the mother, the more he exposes her to his antigens, and the less likely the disease finds expression. Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy occur in approximately 10% of human births (14 million per 136 million births) worldwide. More than 95 percent of cases occur in developing countries, often resulting in death. Severe preeclampsia induces damage to the kidneys (proteinuria), where proteins from the blood (albumin in particular) leak into the urine when the filters of the kidney, called glomeruli, are damaged. Preeclampsia also induces damages to the liver (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count). These induce epileptic seizures. The only cure for any HDP is immediate delivery of the fetus and placenta. As such, preeclampsia induces fetal prematurity. HDP are on the plagues of human reproduction. There are no animal models of HDP. Eclampsia has been described in humans from different cultures as early as 4,200 years ago and associated with possession by evil spirits. The causes of preeclampsia are still...
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