Research in Springfield is helping fight an incurable illness afflicting about seven percent of pregnant women, preeclampsia.

“We've made some substantial advances, at least in the obstetrical world,” says Dr. Don Torry of SIU School of Medicine. “It's now possible to screen urinary or serum levels of growth factors to now predict which ladies will develop preeclampsia weeks before the disease becomes evident.”

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It's the sort of research U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) touted during a Springfield visit this morning, celebrating $2 billion in additional funds for the National Institutes of Health in the new federal budget.

Durbin pulled out a model of a baby's heart. The model was developed in Peoria and is intended to help surgeons prepare for possibly life-saving procedures. Such procedures were not available when Durbin's late daughter was born in the 1960's with a congenital heart defect.


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