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March of Dimes Works to End Premature Labor and Birth

Billy Blatty

For the past 15 years, Billy Blatty has devoted himself to developing great restaurants and nightclubs that meet market needs. He has opened establishments in Dallas, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and other cities. To give back, Billy Blatty uses his establishments to raise money for a number of different causes, including the March of Dimes. With the funding that it receives, March of Dimes fuels research aimed at ending premature birth and proving better treatment to babies born before their due date.

In recent years, great strides have been made in lowering the rate of premature births in the United States. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of women still face this issue annually around the country. Many of the current approaches to preventing preterm labor are not effective for these pregnancies. March of Dimes funds several individuals working on new ways of preventing preterm labor.
For example, a grantee in Cleveland is looking at the factors that contribute to fetal membrane weakening. Premature rupture of these membranes leads to preterm births. Another funded researcher in St. Louis is looking at the factors that cause uterine contractions to begin with, with the hope of regulating preterm contractions that can lead to premature labor. A different researcher in Pittsburg is doing similar work but looking specifically at the role of enzyme caspase-3 in controlling contractions.

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