[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Elevated plasma homocysteine levels are associated with stroke. However, this might be a reflection of bias or confounding because trials have failed to demonstrate an effect from homocysteine lowering in stroke patients, although a possible benefit has been suggested in lacunar stroke. Genetic studies could potentially overcome these issues because genetic variants are inherited randomly and are fixed at conception. Therefore, we tested the homocysteine levels-associated genetic variant MTHFR C677T for association with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed lacunar stroke and compared this with associations with large artery and cardioembolic stroke subtypes.
We included 1359 magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed lacunar stroke cases, 1824 large artery stroke cases, 1970 cardioembolic stroke cases, and 14 448 controls, all of European ancestry. Furthermore, we studied 3670 ischemic stroke patients in whom white matter hyperintensities volume was measured. We tested MTHFR C677T for association with stroke subtypes and white matter hyperintensities volume. Because of the established association of homocysteine with hypertension, we additionally stratified for hypertension status.
MTHFR C677T was associated with lacunar stroke (P=0.0003) and white matter hyperintensity volume (P=0.04), but not with the other stroke subtypes. Stratifying the lacunar stroke cases for hypertension status confirmed this association in hypertensive individuals (P=0.0002), but not in normotensive individuals (P=0.30).
MTHFR C677T was associated with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed lacunar stroke, but not large artery or cardioembolic stroke. The association may act through increased susceptibility to, or interaction with, high blood pressure. This heterogeneity of association might explain the lack of effect of lowering homocysteine in secondary prevention trials which included all strokes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Although epidemiological studies have reported positive associations between circulating urate levels and cardiometabolic diseases, causality remains uncertain. OBJECTIVES Through a Mendelian randomization approach, we assessed whether serum urate levels are causally relevant in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, and heart failure (HF). METHODS This study investigated 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms known to regulate serum urate levels in association with various vascular and nonvascular risk factors to assess pleiotropy. To limit genetic confounding, 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms exclusively associated with serum urate levels were used in a genetic risk score to assess associations with the following cardiometabolic diseases (cases/controls): T2DM (26,488/83,964), CHD (54,501/68,275), ischemic stroke (14,779/67,312), and HF (4,526/18,400). As a positive control, this study also investigated our genetic instrument in 3,151 gout cases and 68,350 controls. RESULTS Serum urate levels, increased by 1 SD due to the genetic score, were not associated with T2DM, CHD, ischemic stroke, or HF. These results were in contrast with previous prospective studies that did observe increased risks of these 4 cardiometabolic diseases for an equivalent increase in circulating urate levels. However, a 1 SD increase in serum urate levels due to the genetic score was associated with increased risk of gout (odds ratio: 5.84; 95% confidence interval: 4.56 to 7.49), which was directionally consistent with previous observations. CONCLUSIONS Evidence from this study does not support a causal role of circulating serum urate levels in T2DM, CHD, ischemic stroke, or HF. Decreasing serum urate levels may not translate into risk reductions for cardiometabolic conditions. (C) 2016 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.
No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Although a genetic contribution to ischemic stroke is well recognized, only a handful of stroke loci have been identified by large-scale genetic association studies to date. Hypothesizing that genetic effects might be stronger for early- versus late-onset stroke, we conducted a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies, focusing on stroke cases with an age of onset <60 years.
The discovery stage of our genome-wide association studies included 4505 cases and 21 968 controls of European, South-Asian, and African ancestry, drawn from 6 studies. In Stage 2, we selected the lead genetic variants at loci with association P<5×10(-6) and performed in silico association analyses in an independent sample of ≤1003 cases and 7745 controls.
One stroke susceptibility locus at 10q25 reached genome-wide significance in the combined analysis of all samples from the discovery and follow-up stages (rs11196288; odds ratio =1.41; P=9.5×10(-9)). The associated locus is in an intergenic region between TCF7L2 and HABP2. In a further analysis in an independent sample, we found that 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms in high linkage disequilibrium with rs11196288 were significantly associated with total plasma factor VII-activating protease levels, a product of HABP2.
HABP2, which encodes an extracellular serine protease involved in coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammatory pathways, may be a genetic susceptibility locus for early-onset stroke.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
For 3,670 stroke patients from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Belgium, and Italy, we performed a genome-wide meta-analysis of white matter hyperintensity volumes (WMHV) on data imputed to the 1000 Genomes reference dataset to provide insights into disease mechanisms.
We first sought to identify genetic associations with white matter hyperintensities in a stroke population, and then examined whether genetic loci previously linked to WMHV in community populations are also associated in stroke patients. Having established that genetic associations are shared between the 2 populations, we performed a meta-analysis testing which associations with WMHV in stroke-free populations are associated overall when combined with stroke populations.
There were no associations at genome-wide significance with WMHV in stroke patients. All previously reported genome-wide significant associations with WMHV in community populations shared direction of effect in stroke patients. In a meta-analysis of the genome-wide significant and suggestive loci (p < 5 × 10(-6)) from community populations (15 single nucleotide polymorphisms in total) and from stroke patients, 6 independent loci were associated with WMHV in both populations. Four of these are novel associations at the genome-wide level (rs72934505 [NBEAL1], p = 2.2 × 10(-8); rs941898 [EVL], p = 4.0 × 10(-8); rs962888 [C1QL1], p = 1.1 × 10(-8); rs9515201 [COL4A2], p = 6.9 × 10(-9)).
Genetic associations with WMHV are shared in otherwise healthy individuals and patients with stroke, indicating common genetic susceptibility in cerebral small vessel disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The genetic structure of human populations is the outcome of the combined action of different processes such as demographic dynamics and natural selection. Several efforts toward the characterization of population genetic architectures and the identification of adaptation signatures were recently made. In this study, we provide a genome-wide depiction of the Italian population structure and the analysis of the major determinants of the current existing genetic variation.
We defined and characterized 210 genomic loci associated with the first Principal Component calculated on the Italian genotypic data and correlated to the North–south genetic gradient. Using a gene-enrichment approach we identified the immune function as primarily involved in the Italian population differentiation and we described a locus on chromosome 13 showing combined evidence of North–south diversification in allele frequencies and signs of recent positive selection. In this region our bioinformatics analysis pinpointed an uncharacterized long intergenic non-coding (lincRNA), whose expression appeared specific for immune-related tissues suggesting its relevance for the immune function.
Our study, combining population genetic analyses with biological insights provides a description of the Italian genetic structure that in future could contribute to the evaluation of complex diseases risk in the population context.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12863-015-0293-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Evidence from epidemiological studies points to differences in factors predisposing to stroke by age and sex. Whether these arise because of different genetic influences remained untested. Here, we use data from 4 genome-wide association data sets to study the relationship between genetic influence on stroke with both age and sex.
Using genomic-relatedness-matrix restricted maximum likelihood methods, we performed 4 analyses: (1) we calculated the genetic correlation between groups divided by age and (2) by sex, (3) we calculated the heritability of age-at-stroke-onset, and (4) we evaluated the evidence that heritability of stroke is greater in women than in men.
We found that genetic factors influence age at stroke onset (h(2) [SE]=18.0 [6.8]; P=0.0038), with a trend toward a stronger influence in women (women: h(2) [SE]=21.6 [3.5]; Men: h(2) [SE]=13.9 [2.8]). Although a moderate proportion of genetic factors was shared between sexes (rG [SE]=0.68 [0.16]) and between younger and older cases (rG [SE]=0.70 [0.17]), there was evidence to suggest that there are genetic susceptibility factors that are specific to sex (P=0.037) and to younger or older groups (P=0.056), particularly for women (P=0.0068). Finally, we found a trend toward higher heritability of stroke in women although this was not significantly greater than in men (P=0.084).
Our results indicate that there are genetic factors that are either unique to or have a different effect between younger and older age groups and between women and men. Performing large, well-powered genome-wide association study analyses in these groups is likely to uncover further associations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Sleep evaluation is increasingly being used as prognostic tool in patients with disorders of consciousness, but, surprisingly, the role of Period3 (Per3) gene polymorphism has never been evaluated.
The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of Per3 genotype on sleep quantity and consciousness recovery level in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC).
In this observational study, we evaluated 71 patients with DOC classified as vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome or minimally conscious state. Demographic and clinical data were collected and a standardised diagnostic workup, including a polysomnographic record, was applied. After informed consent provided by proxy, genomic DNA was obtained and Per3 polymorphism was analysed by polymerase chain reaction to identify 5/5, 4/5, or 4/4 genotype.
Per3(5/5) genotype was found in 12.7% of our DOC patients. The median total Coma Recovery Scale-revised score in Per3(5/5) carriers was significantly higher than 4/4 genotype (10, range 5-16 vs 7, range 4-11; post hoc P = .036). Moreover, total sleep time seemed to be higher in 5/5 genotype (5/5, 221 minutes, range 88-515 minutes; 4/4, 151.5 minutes, range 36-477 minutes; and 4/5, 188 minutes, range 44-422 minutes).
For the first time we have shown a possible association between Per3 polymorphism and consciousness recovery level in DOC patients. Even though the exact molecular mechanism has not been defined, we speculate that its effect is mediated by higher total sleep time and slow wave sleep, which would improve the preservation of main cerebral connections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To quantify genetic overlap between migraine and ischemic stroke (IS) with respect to common genetic variation.
We applied 4 different approaches to large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide data on migraine (23,285 cases and 95,425 controls) and IS (12,389 cases and 62,004 controls). First, we queried known genome-wide significant loci for both disorders, looking for potential overlap of signals. We then analyzed the overall shared genetic load using polygenic scores and estimated the genetic correlation between disease subtypes using data derived from these models. We further interrogated genomic regions of shared risk using analysis of covariance patterns between the 2 phenotypes using cross-phenotype spatial mapping.
We found substantial genetic overlap between migraine and IS using all 4 approaches. Migraine without aura (MO) showed much stronger overlap with IS and its subtypes than migraine with aura (MA). The strongest overlap existed between MO and large artery stroke (LAS; p = 6.4 × 10(-28) for the LAS polygenic score in MO) and between MO and cardioembolic stroke (CE; p = 2.7 × 10(-20) for the CE score in MO).
Our findings indicate shared genetic susceptibility to migraine and IS, with a particularly strong overlap between MO and both LAS and CE pointing towards shared mechanisms. Our observations on MA are consistent with a limited role of common genetic variants in this subtype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related inflammation (CAA-ri), a rare form of vasculitis associated with amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition in vessel walls, has been proposed as a spontaneous human model of the amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA) occurring after anti-Aβ immunotherapy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We describe a case of a patient with biopsy-proven CAA-ri and prodromal AD, confirmed by means of neuropsychological examination after 20 months follow-up, presenting with ARIA and high levels of cerebrospinal fluid anti-Aβ autoantibodies. This case further supports the analogies between the inflammatory response driven by anti-Aβ immunotherapy and that spontaneously occurring in CAA-ri.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cervical artery dissection (CeAD), a mural hematoma in a carotid or vertebral artery, is a major cause of ischemic stroke in young adults although relatively uncommon in the general population (incidence of 2.6/100,000 per year)1. Minor cervical traumas, infection, migraine and hypertension are putative risk factors1, 2, 3, and inverse associations with obesity and hypercholesterolemia are described3, 4. No confirmed genetic susceptibility factors have been identified using candidate gene approaches5. We performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 1,393 CeAD cases and 14,416 controls. The rs9349379[G] allele (PHACTR1) was associated with lower CeAD risk (odds ratio (OR) = 0.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.69–0.82; P = 4.46 × 10−10), with confirmation in independent follow-up samples (659 CeAD cases and 2,648 controls; P = 3.91 × 10−3; combined P = 1.00 × 10−11). The rs9349379[G] allele was previously shown to be associated with lower risk of migraine and increased risk of myocardial infarction6, 7, 8, 9. Deciphering the mechanisms underlying this pleiotropy might provide important information on the biological underpinnings of these disabling conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purposeThe incidence of hospitalizations, treatment and case fatality of ischaemic stroke were assessed utilizing a comprehensive multinational database to attempt to compare the healthcare systems in six European countries, aiming also to identify the limitations and make suggestions for future improvements in the between-country comparisons.Methods
National registers of hospital discharges for ischaemic stroke identified by International Classification of Diseases codes 433–434 (ICD-9) and code I63 (ICD-10), medication purchases and mortality were linked at the patient level in each of the participating countries and regions: Finland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Sweden. Patients with an index admission in 2007 were followed for 1 year.ResultsIn all, 64 170 patients with a disease code for ischaemic stroke were identified. The number of patients registered per 100 000 European standard population ranged from 77 in Scotland to 407 in Hungary. Large differences were observed in medication use. The age- and sex-adjusted all-cause case fatality amongst hospitalized patients at 1 year from stroke was highest in Hungary at 31.0% (95% confidence interval 30.5–31.5). Regional differences in age- and sex-adjusted 1-year case fatality within countries were largest in Hungary (range 23.6%–37.6%) and smallest in the Netherlands (20.5%–27.3%).Conclusions
It is feasible to link population-wide register data amongst European countries to describe incidence of hospitalizations, treatment patterns and case fatality of ischaemic stroke on a national level. However, the coverage and validity of administrative register data for ischaemic stroke should be developed further, and population-based and clinical stroke registers should be created to allow better control of case mix.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · European Journal of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
To perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the Immunochip array in 3,420 cases of ischemic stroke and 6,821 controls, followed by a meta-analysis with data from more than 14,000 additional ischemic stroke cases.
Using the Immunochip, we genotyped 3,420 ischemic stroke cases and 6,821 controls. After imputation we meta-analyzed the results with imputed GWAS data from 3,548 cases and 5,972 controls recruited from the ischemic stroke WTCCC2 study, and with summary statistics from a further 8,480 cases and 56,032 controls in the METASTROKE consortium. A final in silico "look-up" of 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 2,522 cases and 1,899 controls was performed. Associations were also examined in 1,088 cases with intracerebral hemorrhage and 1,102 controls.
In an overall analysis of 17,970 cases of ischemic stroke and 70,764 controls, we identified a novel association on chromosome 12q24 (rs10744777, odds ratio [OR] 1.10 [1.07-1.13], p = 7.12 × 10(-11)) with ischemic stroke. The association was with all ischemic stroke rather than an individual stroke subtype, with similar effect sizes seen in different stroke subtypes. There was no association with intracerebral hemorrhage (OR 1.03 [0.90-1.17], p = 0.695).
Our results show, for the first time, a genetic risk locus associated with ischemic stroke as a whole, rather than in a subtype-specific manner. This finding was not associated with intracerebral hemorrhage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have begun to identify the common genetic component to ischaemic stroke (IS). However, IS has considerable phenotypic heterogeneity. Where clinical covariates explain a large fraction of disease risk, covariate informed designs can increase power to detect associations. As prevalence rates in IS are markedly affected by age, and younger onset cases may have higher genetic predisposition, we investigated whether an age-at-onset informed approach could detect novel associations with IS and its subtypes; cardioembolic (CE), large artery atherosclerosis (LAA) and small vessel disease (SVD) in 6,778 cases of European ancestry and 12,095 ancestry-matched controls. Regression analysis to identify SNP associations was performed on posterior liabilities after conditioning on age-at-onset and affection status. We sought further evidence of an association with LAA in 1,881 cases and 50,817 controls, and examined mRNA expression levels of the nearby genes in atherosclerotic carotid artery plaques. Secondly, we performed permutation analyses to evaluate the extent to which age-at-onset informed analysis improves significance for novel loci. We identified a novel association with an MMP12 locus in LAA (rs660599; p = 2.5610 27), with independent replication in a second population (p = 0.0048, OR(95% CI) = 1.18(1.05–1.32); meta-analysis p = 2.6610 28). The nearby gene, MMP12, was significantly overexpressed in carotid plaques compared to atherosclerosis-free control arteries (p = 1.2610 215 ; fold change = 335.6). Permutation analyses demonstrated improved significance for associations when accounting for age-at-onset in all four stroke phenotypes (p,0.001). Our results show that a covariate-informed design, by adjusting for age-at-onset of stroke, can detect variants not identified by conventional GWAS.