Genetics of stroke


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Stroke, a medical condition is characterized by rapid loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. Stroke is sometimes called a “brain attack.” If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get the required oxygen and nutrients through blood and eventually brain cells can die, causing permanent damage.

Sometimes referred to as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), stroke cause rapid loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage (internal bleeding or loss of blood that occurs from the vascular system into a body cavity). As a result, the affected area of the brain cannot function, which might result in an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field. A stroke is a medical emergency and if untreated, it can cause permanent neurological damage and death.


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  • Loss of consciousness, headache, and vomiting usually occur more often in hemorrhagic stroke than in thrombosis because of the increased intracranial pressure from the leaking blood compressing the brain.
  • Sudden-onset face weakness, arm drift (i.e., if a person, when asked to raise both arms, involuntarily lets one arm drift downward) and abnormal speech
  • Stroke symptoms appear suddenly, over seconds to minutes, and in most cases do not progress further.
  • In most cases, the symptoms affect only one side of the body (unilateral). Depending on the part of the brain affected, the defect in the brain is usually on the opposite side of the body
  • The symptoms depend on the area of the brain affected. The more extensive the area of brain affected, the more functions that are likely to be lost.

Gene Involved

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Genes that have a vital role in regulating the blood & oxygen supply to the brain through formation & disruption of an atherosclerotic plaque are analyzed for variations which when present, imply that a person has increased risk for stroke.