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A Genetic Predisposition To Stroke Discovered

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:59 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Stroke, Ischemic Stroke, Genome, Genetic Variation, New England Journal of Medicine

There are gene variants that appear to have a link to stroke researchers found at the University of Texas.  



IMAGE SOURCE: Library Health Guide, Web site 


Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is known to run in families, so unraveling the genetic contributions to the condition has the potential to help millions avoid stroke and stroke-related disabilities.

University of Texas Health Science Center researchers have identified a common genetic variant found in millions of people that leads to an increase in stroke risk.

Publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Eric Boerwinkle and his team found that on chromosome 12 near two genes there are two genetic variants that are linked to stroke. 

The WNK1 is associated with blood pressure, reports Reuters, while the NINJ2 is associated with brain injury repair.   Two single-letter changes in the DNA near the NINJ2 appear to have the strongest stroke signal. 

The two genes exist next to each other.  Together they are linked to ischemic stroke, the most common kind caused by blockage of blood in vessels leading to the brain. 

Altogether the genetic code of more than 19,000 people from the U.S. and Europe and revealed that about 10 percent of African-Americans and one in five Caucasians have at least one copy of this genetic variant. Each copy increases the risk of ischemic stroke by about 30 percent.

The variant was not associated with non-ischemic stroke.  

Differences in the sequence of 3 billion DNA base pairs are called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPS.   They become the guideposts to find disease genes. 

“Identification of genes that predispose to stroke may aid in the identification of persons at increased risk of stroke in whom particular vigorous attention to preventative measures can be applied,” according to Philip A. Wolf, one the study’s lead authors in a news release. 

Besides genetic factors a person’s risk factors for stroke also include smoking and high blood pressure.   New research shows that Ginko biloba, an herb, may help protect the brain from damage after a stroke.  #

1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by Amade Hossen Khoyratty
Friday, April 17, 2009 1:56 PM EST

I am very much please to read this article because I am(50yrs old) got Ischemic Stroke(right side) some 18 years back following 4 years back heart surgery.I am 80% recovered but I got spacicity my arm and leg, Iam taking LEXOTANIL 3MG O.D MANE and LYRICA 75MG B.D apart from taking WARFARIN, ENALAPRIL,DILATREND,LOPRIN 75MG and other tablets.I would like to know whether I can recover more.I am not working I am getting a meager Ivaliditity Pension from the Government and nobody want to employ me.Awaiting an answer from you and I see that your article very,very interesting.Thanks good continuation.

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