Stroke - Is Your Family To Blame?
Reported August 2011
BALTIMORE (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It’s a well known fact that your everyday habits can affect your chances of having a stroke. Now, doctors want to learn more about what role our DNA plays. We have more on the international effort to identify genetic risk factors for stroke.
Gina Roberts is a regular at the Shades of Beauty hair salon in Baltimore, Maryland. Three years ago she was there for an appointment, when something went wrong.
“When I went to the ladies room I was staggering like I was drunk,” Gina Roberts, a Baltimore resident told Ivanhoe.
Gina would later learn she was having a stroke. Every year, nearly 800,000 occur in the U.S--A potentially deadly condition that disrupts blood flow to the brain.
“We need to learn more about how to prevent stroke and to improve recovery after stroke,” Steven Kittner M.D., neurologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine told Ivanhoe.
Dr. Kittner and his colleagues at the University of Maryland are trying to accomplish that. They’re teaming up with scientists around the world to identify the genes responsible for causing ischemic stroke, the most common form that is caused by a blood clot in the brain.
“We’ll have these blood samples genotyped for in many cases over a million genetic variants in order to search for those that might be predisposing to stroke,” Dr. Kittner said.
Once identified, this research could eventually lead to new methods of prevention and treatment, and benefit survivors like Phil Anderson. The runner of 33 marathons and 77 ultra marathons had a stroke four years ago.
“I couldn’t say anything for a month,” Phil Anderson, a stroke survivor told Ivanhoe.
Therapy has helped smooth out Phil’s speech. Now he’s using his voice and sport to spread the word about stroke.
“I’m trying to raise awareness of what happens to people and how not to have them happen to you,” Anderson concluded.
Most of the previous genetic studies in stroke have small sample sizes, and ambiguous results. But the members of the International Stroke Genetics Consortium have pooled their resources and DNA collections to get larger sample sizes, which can provide definitive answers-making this stroke genetics project one of the largest ever launched.
The Biophysical Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science and View Video or contact:
Dr. Steven Kittner
Director MD Stroke Center
University of MD School of Medicine
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