Single gene defect can lead to stroke


HOUSTON (UPI) — U.S.-led scientists say they have, for the first time, identified a single gene defect that can cause aneurysms, coronary artery disease and ischemic stroke.

The international group of researchers, led by Dr. Dianna Milewicz at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said the discovery of the causal relationship between the mutated gene ACTA2 and artery disease opens the door to a new way of thinking about the vascular system.
“If someone is found to have an alteration or mutation in this gene, we can do screening for vascular diseases, and if diagnosed with disease, they can take medications and undergo surgical approaches to prevent premature death or disability,” said Milewicz. “We need to look at the artery system as a continuous system or organ. We’ve been looking at it the wrong way. If you have this particular genetic mutation, it can present in several different diseases affecting different arteries.”

The study is detailed in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 9th May 2009

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