During the final stages of my youngest daughter’s first pregnancy some nine years ago, she developed pre-eclampsia. As a result she had a traumatic delivery and was in a critical condition throughout the delivery and was not expected to survive it. Thankfully and gratefully both my daughter and grandson recovered without any ill effects.

Blood tests revealed she had the MTHFR gene and HELLP syndrome.
MTHFR is the acronym for the Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase enzyme.
Whilst HELLP is the acronym of main diagnostic findings which stands for:

Hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells.)

Elevated Liver enzymes

Low Platelet count.

During her second pregnancy she was selected to take part in the National Institute of Health of America (NIH) study group conducted in conjunction with the Women’s and Childrens Hospital (Adelaide) - Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Adelaide University. During the course of the study her physical state of health was monitored by taking blood samples and undergoing ultrasounds every month in the earlier months of her pregnancy and then each fortnight later in her pregnancy. The blood samples were then sent off to America.

Here is the link to the MTHFR web site:


and here are some links to the HELLP syndrome:




Denise Furness of the Women’s and Childrens Hospital was involved in the study.

Should you wish to learn more about the study please contact Denise via her e-mail address:


Today Friday the 8th March 2014 I received a posting from Green Med Info a site to which I subscribe and in it was an article on the MTHFR mutation here is the article



My daughter affectionately refers to the MTHFR enzyme the Mother/Father enzyme.