Familial aggregation, candidate genes and genome scans: Analyzing the role of genetics in stroke
The genetic etiology of stroke likely reflects the influence of multiple loci with small effects, each modulating different pathophysiological processes. This research project utilized three analytical strategies to address the paucity of information related to the identification and characterization of genetic variation associated with stroke in the general population. First, the general contribution of familial factors to stroke susceptibility was evaluated in a population-based sample of unrelated individuals. Increased risk of subclinical cerebral infarction was observed among individuals with a positive parental history of stroke. This association did not appear to be mediated by established stroke risk factors, specifically blood pressure levels or hypertension status. The need to identify specific gene variation associated with stroke in the general population was addressed by evaluating seven candidate gene polymorphisms in a population-based sample of unrelated individuals. Three polymorphisms were significantly associated with increased subclinical cerebral infarction or incident clinical ischemic stroke risk. These relationships include the G-protein β3 subunit 825C/T polymorphism and clinical stroke in Whites, the lipoprotein lipase S/X447 polymorphism and subclinical and clinical stroke in men, and the angiotensin I-converting enzyme Ins/Del polymorphism and subclinical stroke in White men. These associations did not appear to be obfuscated by the stroke risk factors adjusted for in the analysis models specifically blood pressure levels or anti-hypertensive medication use. The final research strategy considered, on a genome-wide scale, the idea that genetic variation may contribute to the occurrence of hypertension or stroke through a common etiologic pathway. Genomic regions were identified for which significant evidence of heterogeneity was observed among hypertensive sibpairs stratified by family history of stroke information. Regions identified on chromosome 15 in African Americans, and chromosome 13 in Whites and African Americans, suggest the presence of genes influencing hypertension and stroke susceptibility. Insight into the role of genetics in stroke is useful for the potential early identification of individuals at increased risk for stroke and improved understanding of the etiology of the disease. The ultimate goal of these endeavors is to guide the development of therapeutic intervention and informed prevention to provide a lasting and positive impact on public health.
Morrison, Alanna Christine, "Familial aggregation, candidate genes and genome scans: Analyzing the role of genetics in stroke" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3004454.