Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New Genetic Variant Linked to Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack

Published: Saturday, July 05, 2014
Last Updated: Saturday, July 05, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Findings suggest a new genetic link caused by a variation in glycoprotein IIIa.

Researchers at King’s College London have identified a genetic variant associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

Stroke and heart attack are caused when arteries, already clogged up by fatty substances (a condition known as atherosclerosis), become completely blocked by the formation of a blood clot. Risk factors for this include smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The findings, published as two separate papers in PLOS ONE and funded by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, suggest a new genetic link caused by a variation in a protein known as ‘glycoprotein IIIa’. This genetic variant is found in platelets, a type of blood cell involved in the formation of blood clots.

These findings may, in future, allow clinicians to identify patients who are at particularly high risk of stroke or heart attack by looking for the genetic variant. This would represent advancement on current practice, which mainly addresses risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure.

Previous findings surrounding this genetic variant have been inconsistent and the study at King’s represents the first large-scale meta-analysis of the literature, including over 50,000 participants from a combined total of 82 studies.

In the UK over 150,000 people have a stroke every year. Stroke is the third largest cause of death after heart disease and cancer. A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, leading to damage of brain cells. There are around 103,000 heart attacks in the UK each year, caused by blockage of a coronary artery that supplies blood to the heart and resulting in damage to heart muscles.

In the first research paper, which examined stroke patients, researchers found that carrying the PlA2 genetic variant of glycoprotein IIIa was associated with an increased risk of thrombotic stroke - that is, stroke caused by a blood clot.

This equated to a higher risk of around 10-15 per cent, which was even stronger (amounting to a 70 per cent increase in risk) in people who carried two copies of this gene variant. The variant was not associated with haemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding into the brain.

The second research paper found that the same genetic variant was also associated with an increased risk of heart attack. This link was stronger in younger than in older patients, which is likely to reflect the greater influence of other cardiovascular risk factors in older patients (such as smoking and high cholesterol), according to the researchers.

Albert Ferro, Professor of Cardiovascular Clinical Pharmacology at King’s College London, said: ‘The genetic risk found in stroke and heart attack patients is likely to be caused by over-active platelets. Under normal circumstances, platelets help your body form clots to stop bleeding, but in these patients platelet activation has the undesired effect of causing their narrowed arteries to be blocked off completely. In future it may be possible to reduce the chances of this happening by examining patients for this variant on a blood test, so that if they carry the PlA2 form - and especially if they carry two copies of it - such patients could be identified for a more determined reduction of risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.’


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Schizophrenia and Cannabis Use May Share Common Genes
Researchers found that people genetically pre-disposed to schizophrenia were more likely to use cannabis.
Friday, June 27, 2014
First Genetic Link Discovered to Difficult-to-Diagnose Breast Cancer Sub-Type
Study gives researchers important clues to the genetic causes of particular kind of breast cancer.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Scientific News
Gene Therapy for Metabolic Liver Diseases
Researchers have tested gene therapy in pigs from hereditary tyrosinemia type 1, with corrected liver cells being transplanted into the diseased liver.
Gene Terapy for Muscle Wasting Developed
New gene therapy could save millions of people suffering from muscle wasting disease.
Gene-Editing 'Toolbox' Targets Multiple Genes Simultaneously
Researchers have designed a system that modifies, or edits, multiple genes in a genome at once while minimising unintentional effects.
Discovering the First Farmers
Genetic analyses reveal a collection of highly distinct groups in the Near East and Europe at the dawn of agriculture.
Fighting Cancer Through Protein Pathways
Researchers have found a new drug target within a protein production pathway critical to regulating growth and proliferation of cells.
Mutations in DNA-Repair Genes Found in Advanced Prostate Cancers
New findings indicate that nearly 12% of male advanced prostate cancer sufferers have inherited mutation in DNA-repair genes.
Ice Bucket Challenge Instrumental in Gene Discovery
Donations from the ALS Ice Bucket Chellenge allowed for the largest-ever study of inherited ALS, which identified a new ALS gene.
Triple-Action Therapy Patch Shows Promise
Patch that delivers drug, gene, and light-based therapy to tumor sites shows promising results in mice.
Cancer Gene-Drug Combinations Ripe for Precision Medicine
The study aims to expand the number of cancer gene mutations that can be paired with a precision therapy.
Targeting BRAF Mutations in Thyroid Cancer
Treating metastatic thyroid cancer patients harboring a BRAF mutation with vemurafenib showed anti-tumor activity in a third of patients.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!