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They found 89 genes related to the risk of suffering a stroke

Barcelona’s Sant Pau Hospital has led the largest international genetic study ever carried out on strokes. It concludes that there are 89 genes involved in stroke risk, 61 of which had not been previously described.

The research on genes, which is published by the scientific journal “Nature”, will make it possible to predict much more precisely the risk that a person may suffer a stroke, provides valuable information about the biological processes involved in this disease and will help to find of new more effective treatments.

The work looked at whole-genome data from more than 100,000 stroke patients and more than one and a half million healthy controls, and is also the first to include different ethnicities, something that had not been done before. previously done because most studies had only included samples of people of European origin.

The researcher at the Sant Pau Hospital Research Institute, Israel Fernández Cadenascoordinator of the data analysis of the Spanish cohort, explained that “these results provide very important information, useful not only for predicting which people present a high risk of stroke, but also provides relevant information to better understand the bases biological aspects of the disease”.

“In addition, – he added – these data make it possible to consider the use of new therapies using drugs not used until now in stroke.”

“Until now it was known that inflammatory or coagulation processes played an important role in stroke. Now we have seen, for example, that the levels of lipids that we considered to be relevant may not be so essential in the development of this disease”, pointed out the researcher.

According to Fernández, it is “seeing that some genes related to other processes, such as arterial hypertension or the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis), play a more important role in the risk of stroke”.

Until now, studies of genetic risk factors for stroke, one of the world’s leading causes of death, had mainly looked at samples from people of European descent, and the largest work had data from 67,000 patients and 500,000 healthy controls.

The importance of knowing the risk genes for stroke

In this study they analyzed the genome of 1,503,898 participants, which included 110,182 stroke patients from five different ancestries, and identified a total of 89 independent loci or chromosomal regions related to stroke risk, 61 of which are new

Research has shown that many of these genetic characteristics are shared by all people, regardless of where they come from.

“This finding will be important so that medical professionals can identify risks and suitable treatments on the way to predictive and precision medicine,” he summarized Rafael de Cid, researcher at the Germans Trias i Pujol Institute and co-author of the study.

The researchers also analyzed data from 52,600 people with cardiometabolic disease and showed that the sum of genetic risk factors predicted future stroke risk, independent of clinical risk factors.

“We look for polymorphisms spread throughout the genome without a prior hypothesis. And what we see is that the mutations and the genes that we find are actually associated with stroke. All the genes we find help us to better understand which biological processes are really important in the disease”, stressed Fernández.

“The important thing to know better about the mechanisms involved in the development of stroke is that not only can we look for new treatments aimed at these processes, we can also conduct studies with drugs already approved for other diseases that can be used to treat these patients and for prevention in people who are at high risk due to their genetic characteristics”, concluded the researcher.

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