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Study Links Genetic Variant to Risk of Stroke

According to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), millions of people have a genetic variant that makes them more susceptible to ischemic stroke.  A team of researchers from both the United States and Europe examined the data of four separate studies. 

An ischemic stroke is caused by blockage of blood to the brain. It is the third leading cause of death and accounts for about 90 percent of all strokes, affecting nearly 150,000 Americans a year.  Stroke survivors are often left with permanent stroke-related disabilities.

The study involved 19,602 participants and compared the genomes of 1,544 participants who developed stroke with the genomes of 18,058 who did not. The researchers found the variant on chromosome 12 near a gene which is known to be involved with brain injury repair, and not far from another gene which is linked to blood pressure control.

They also replicated these findings in separate studies of African-American and Caucasian participants.  The results showed that about 20 percent of the Caucasian participants and 10 percent of the African-American participants have at least one copy of the gene, with each copy raising the risk by 30 percent.

Although previous studies have looked at links between genetic factors and stroke risk, this is the first study to identify a common genetic variant influencing the risk of stroke in the United States. 

If you or someone you love suffered injury or death because of delay in the diagnosis or treatment of stroke, you should contact the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese for a free consultation.  The lawyers at Berger & Lagnese specialize in medical malpractice cases involving the failure to diagnose and treat medical conditions such as stroke.