Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic variant increases risk of common type stroke

06.02.2012
A genetic variant that increases the risk of a common type of stroke has been identified by scientists in a study published online in Nature Genetics today. This is one of the few genetic variants to date to be associated with risk of stroke and the discovery opens up new possibilities for treatment.

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!
Further information:
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/

Further reports about: Genetic clues Genetics HDAC9 blood vessel genetic mechanism ischemic stroke

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Preserved and fresh – Neutrons show details of the freeze drying process
27.02.2020 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Detect cell changes faster
27.02.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Preserved and fresh – Neutrons show details of the freeze drying process

27.02.2020 | Life Sciences

Underwater Snail-o-Bot gets kick from light

27.02.2020 | Health and Medicine

Explained: Why water droplets 'bounce off the walls'

27.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>