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Mayo Clinic develops first genomic-based test to predict stroke from ruptured brain aneurysm

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a genetic marker that may pave the way for a fast, inexpensive blood test to predict one type of deadly stroke that strikes 30,000 people in the United States annually.

The article and an editorial appear in the March edition of the Journal of Neurosurgery, http://www.thejns-net.org/jns/issues/toc_pre.html. The Mayo Clinic researchers report that people with key variations in a gene that affects the ability of blood vessels to relax are 10 times more likely to suffer a stroke from a ruptured brain aneurysm than people who have aneurysms but lack these key genetic variations.

"There are an incredible number of people walking around with brain aneurysms, but only a small percentage of these aneurysms will rupture," says G. Vini Khurana, M.D., Ph.D., the Mayo Clinic neurosurgical researcher who led the study. "There has been a search for a marker that would identify patients with rupture-prone aneurysms for a very long time because this disease can strike like lightning. Rupture typically happens suddenly and completely unexpectedly -- and when it does at least half of patients die or suffer long-term disability. That's why our results suggesting that we may have found such a marker are so exciting: there is an urgent public health need for it."

Significance of the Mayo Clinic Research

The Mayo Clinic researchers conclude that they have found the first genetic marker to help doctors identify which cases of a condition known as sporadic brain aneurysm are at highest risk for death and disability due to rupturing and subsequent bleeding into the brain. Sporadic brain aneurysm is a different medical condition from familial aneurysm, for which genetic markers are already known. However, approximately 90 percent of all cases of aneurysm -- a dangerous thinning of blood vessel walls in the brain -- fall into the
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Contact: Bob Nellis
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
3-Mar-2005


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