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Swedish in Seattle to Study Connections Between Preeclampsia and Migraine
Date:9/29/2008

- $2.9 million research grant awarded by NIH; Findings could benefit pregnant women worldwide

SEATTLE, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Michelle A. Williams, Sc.D., a $2.9 million grant for a five-year research project to examine possible linkages between the serious pregnancy complication known as preeclampsia and migraine.

Dr. Williams is a co-founder and co-director of Swedish's Center for Perinatal Studies and one of the world's leading authorities on preeclampsia and other pregnancy concerns. She is also a professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington.

The research project, titled "A Prospective Cohort Study of Migraines, Platelet Activation and Preeclampsia," will be conducted by Dr. Williams and her co-investigator Sheena Aurora, M.D., a migraine specialist with the Swedish Pain and Headache Center. Together they will work with experts at the Puget Sound Blood Center.

The goal of the research is to evaluate whether, and to what extent, a maternal pre-gestational history of migraines and migraine symptoms during early pregnancy are associated with the risk of preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is a vascular disorder characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine starting around mid-pregnancy. It occurs in up to 8 percent of all pregnancies and, in addition to other hypertensive disorders, is the leading global cause of maternal and infant illness and death.

Migraine is a common chronic-episodic disorder characterized by severe, debilitating headaches. It is often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to activity and/or external stimuli. Between 14 percent to 25 percent of women suffer from some form of migraine, which is more common during childbearing years.

"There have been a few reports in the medical literature of connections between preecla
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SOURCE Swedish Medical Center
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