Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide (more than one in 10 of all deaths, and over six million deaths annually), and also in developed countries is a major cause of chronic disability. As the world's populations age the impact of stroke on wellbeing is likely to increase further.
Several different mechanisms underlie strokes. One of the most common types is when blood flow is impaired because of a blockage to one or more of the large arteries supplying blood to the brain – large artery ischemic stroke. This accounts for over a third of all strokes.
Researchers from St George's, University of London and Oxford University, working with scientists from Europe, America and Australia, in one of the largest genetic studies of stroke to date, compared the genetic make-up of 10,000 people who had suffered from a stroke with 40,000 healthy individuals. The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust.
The researchers discovered an alteration in a gene called HDAC9 which affects a person's risk of large artery ischemic stroke. This variant occurs on about 10 per cent of human chromosomes. Those people who carry two copies of the variant (one inherited from each parent) have nearly twice the risk for this type of stroke compared to those with no copies of the variant.
The protein produced by HDAC9 is already known to play a role in the formation of muscle tissue and heart development. However, the exact mechanism by which the genetic variant increases the risk of stroke is not yet known. A better understanding of the mechanism could lead to new drugs to treat or prevent stroke; however, the researchers stress that this is still some way off.
Professor Hugh Markus, from St George's, University of London, who co-led the study says: "This discovery identifies a completely new mechanism for causing stroke. The next step is to determine in more detail the relationship between HDAC9 and stroke and see whether we can develop new treatments that reduce the risk of stroke. Interestingly, there are already drugs available which inhibit the HDAC9 protein. However, it is important that we understand the mechanism involved before trialling the effects of these drugs on stroke."
The researchers went on to show that the new variant does not have the same effect on the risk of other types of stroke which include bleeding in the brain (haemorrhagic stroke).
Professor Peter Donnelly, Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in the University of Oxford, who co-led the study, says: "Our study shows that the different subtypes of stroke could involve quite different genetic mechanisms. This is really fascinating, and if it holds up more generally, will move us closer to personalised medicine, where treatments and preventions can be tailored more precisely to individual patients."
Dr Peter Coleman, Deputy Director of Research at The Stroke Association, who funded collection of some of the samples used in this study, said:
"Over a third of strokes are caused by a blockage in one of the large blood vessels supplying blood to the brain (large artery stroke). Findings from this ground breaking study appear to show a genetic link which may affect a person's risk of large vessel stroke. Further study is needed, but this research could potentially lead to new methods of screening and prevention for large vessel stroke, and ultimately, new methods of treatment."
Helena Clay | EurekAlert!
Don't Give the Slightest Chance to Toxic Elements in Medicinal Products
23.03.2018 | Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy