“This is exciting news for women who have suffered recurrent miscarriages with no idea why,” says the study’s author, W. Allen Hogge, M.D., an associate professor of human genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Until now, even extensive testing has often been unable to pinpoint a cause.” In fact, Hogge says, up to half of all women who have had miscarriages could discover no medical explanation for their losses.
The genetic flaw is detectable in the mother’s blood, making testing simple. No health risks for the women themselves have been associated with the abnormality. Though there is no known cure, the ability to diagnose the condition offers a significant improvement in risk assessment for future pregnancies, Hogge says.