Vitamin, virility drug could treat preeclampsia

Vitamin, virility drug could treat preeclampsia

Treating disease doesn't always mean creating new drugs. Sometimes the therapies are already in our pharmacies and medicine cabinets.

Two labs in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology recently provided evidence for two new preeclampsia treatments that may be familiar: one a common dietary supplement, the other a little blue pill.

In separate tests, vitamin D and sildenafil (sold commercially as Viagra) were able to lower blood pressure in animal models of preeclampsia without compromising fetal health.

“In preeclampsia, there are two patients: mom and baby,” said Dr. Babbette LaMarca, associate professor of pharmacology. “You can't treat with heavy drugs and there's fear that if you reduce blood pressure too much, you may harm the baby.”

Preeclampsia occurs in 5-10 percent of pregnancies worldwide. Pregnant women will develop hypertension, reduced kidney function and placental ischemia - reduced blood flow to the baby.

The potential for birth defects with numerous anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive drugs limits management options. The only reliable treatment is delivery, but pre-term babies have a higher risk of health and developmental problems.

However, vitamin D is a strong anti-inflammatory hormone and deficiency of the vitamin is a preeclampsia risk factor, LaMarca said. So taking a supplement during pregnancy may be especially important.

The cause of preeclampsia isn't well understood, but it involves the immune system, said Dr. Jessica Faulkner, a postdoctoral researcher at Augusta University who recently completed her PhD in LaMarca's lab.

“In preeclampsia, we see an altered immune response,” Faulkner said. “The body may see the fetus as foreign and activate the immune system, especially the pro-inflammatory arm.”

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Parade name changes, commitment to Children's Hospital stays the same

A colorful 33-year-old Jackson tradition has a Hal of a new name.

Mal's St. Paddy's Parade is changing its name to Hal's St. Paddy's Parade & Festival in memory of Hal White, brother of parade founder Malcolm White and half of team that opened the well-loved Jackson restaurant and venue Hal & Mal's.

The parade is set for March 19 in downtown Jackson. A supporter of Batson Children's Hospital for decades, the event raised more than $25,000 for the hospital in 2015, a year when a downpour threatened to dampen the fun.

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Parade name changes, commitment to Children's Hospital stays the same

Fox-trot the night away at A Roaring ‘20s Affluent Affair

Fox-trot the night away at A Roaring ‘20s Affluent Affair

Channel your inner flapper, and brush up on the Charleston and the shimmy.

The UMMC Alliance will travel back in time with Medical Center supporters, both on campus and in the community, when it hosts A Roaring 20s Affluent Affair, a fundraiser to support patient needs and hospital beautification.

The event, from 7-11 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Lake House in Ridgeland, replaces Taste of the U, a 25-year Alliance institution that over the years raised more than $700,000. Leaders of the nonprofit Alliance decided to take their signature fundraising event in a new direction following last year's Taste, which had run its course but treated the UMMC family to an annual display of diverse cuisine cooked up by employees complemented by vibrant costumes and decorated booths.

A Roaring 20s Affluent Affair promises just as much revelry, but in a different format, said Vickie Skinner, president-elect of the Alliance and a project manager in the Office of Faculty Affairs.

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During February, celebrate heart health with those you love

February is all about hearts. Not the paper or candy ones, but the muscle ones.

In observation of American Heart Month, the University of Mississippi Medical Center is encouraging employees to learn about heart disease and its risk factors, practice heart-healthy habits, and have a little fun.

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During February, celebrate heart health with those you love

Longtime pathologist, geriatrician join UMMC faculty

Longtime pathologist, geriatrician join UMMC faculty

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff:

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CMIO earns Q Award, bariatric surgeons gain accreditation, anesthesiologist is jolly good Fellow

The Medical Center's chief medical information officer earns a quality distinction, the bariatric surgery program reels in an ACS accreditation and an anesthesiology fellow gains a national AIMBE honor.    

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CMIO earns Q Award, bariatric surgeons gain accreditation, anesthesiologist is jolly good Fellow
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