A Japanese study has indicated that the presence of a newly identified antibody may be responsible for repeated miscarriages in some women.

The joint research carried out by scientists at Kobe and Osaka universities followed the discovery in 2015 of an autoantibody that could also be responsible for diseases such as thrombosis.

The research published in June in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology involved 227 women who had experienced at least three pregnancies which were not carried to term. These are difficult experiences for women and couples hoping to start a family, especially since the cause of this situation remains largely misunderstood.

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Study participants were tested for the presence of the newly discovered autoantibody in their bodies, for which 23% of them were positive. For nearly a fifth of these patients, the cause of their miscarriage had not been identified.

The researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms which lead to repeated pregnancy loss as well as thrombosis and pregnancy-related hypertension. This in turn could lead to new treatment methods.

According to the scientists, the results of their research may be a key to helping resolve problems relating to the low birth rate and aging population in Japan, where around 1,400,000 women experience recurrent pregnancy loss.

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