Nearly three percent of the world’s population is at risk of developing an intracranial aneurysm, a localized dilation of a blood vessel forming a fragile pocket. Rupture of this aneurysm results in extremely severe, and, in one-third of cases, fatal haemorrhage. In the framework of the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, a team led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) and the University of Utrecht is studying the genetic determinants of aneurysms in order to better understand the different forms of the disease and to assess individual risk.
Through the examination of the genome of more than 10,000 people suffering from aneurysms compared to that of 300,000 healthy volunteers, 17 genetic abnormalities have been identified that are notably involved in the functioning of the vascular endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels. In addition, the scientists discovered a potential link between these genetic markers and anti-epileptic drugs, making it possible to consider the use of certain drugs in the management of the disease.
Université de Genève. “Seventeen genetic abnormalities that cause brain aneurysms.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2020.