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!
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences