News on Stroke, From Down Under

March 23, 2018

Our Bradford Worrall, MD, is making headlines without even being in the country. He was part of a major effort that has identified 22 new  genetic risk factors for stroke, tripling the number of gene regions known to affect your stroke risk.

The researchers are hailing it as the largest genetic study on stroke risk ever. They looked at 520,000 DNA samples taken from people from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Of those 520,000, 67,000 had suffered a stroke.

Overall, the researchers identified 32 different genomic regions that contribute to our stroke risk. Of those, 22 had never been identified before. Interestingly, the researchers found that several overlapped with genomic areas already known to be involved in heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation and coronary artery disease. Some also overlapped with cardiac risk factors, especially high blood pressure.

The study was the work of MEGASTROKE, a large-scale international collaboration initiated by the International Stroke Genetics Consortium. MEGASTROKE includes researchers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Iceland, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and many more countries.

Dr. Worrall is an American representative, of course. But he happens to be in Australia, enjoying the fruits of his prestigious Fulbright. Still, the news waits for no one, especially when it’s this important.

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