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Nat Rev Neurol. 2011 May 31;7(7):369-78. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2011.80.

Genetic susceptibility to ischemic stroke.

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Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.


Clinicians who treat patients with stroke need to be aware of several single-gene disorders that have ischemic stroke as a major feature, including sickle cell disease, Fabry disease, cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy, and retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukodystrophy. The reported genome-wide association studies of ischemic stroke and several related phenotypes (for example, ischemic white matter disease) have shown that no single common genetic variant imparts major risk. Larger studies with samples numbering in the thousands are ongoing to identify common variants with smaller effects on risk. Pharmacogenomic studies have uncovered genetic determinants of response to warfarin, statins and clopidogrel. Despite increasing knowledge of stroke genetics, incorporating this new knowledge into clinical practice remains a challenge. The goals of this article are to review common single-gene disorders relevant to ischemic stroke, summarize the status of candidate gene and genome-wide studies aimed at discovering genetic stroke risk factors, and to briefly discuss pharmacogenomics related to stroke treatment.

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