Health Discoveries in Brain Injury

Genetic factors in smokers increases possibility of a brain aneurysm occurring

April 22, 2010
For smokers who have a certain genetic make-up, the risk of a brain aneurysm – when a blood vessel in the brain weakens and balloons – is five times greater than in those who have no such gene variants.

However, all smokers are at a greater risk of suffering an aneurysm, according to the Familial Intracranial Aneurysm (FIA) project.

Two studies presented recently at a stroke conference of the American Stroke Association showed the increased risk of aneurysm, with one study focusing specifically on the risky gene variant on chromosomes 8 and 9.

"Like putting a match to kindling, smoking greatly increases the likelihood of a ruptured aneurysm in people with a genetic susceptibility," said Dr. Joseph Broderick, head of the neurology department at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute.

The gene study compared about 400 patients from the FIA project with the same number of study participants who did not have a history of aneurysms and found the genetic variations raised the risk of a rupture that can create a brain hemorrhage.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the Center for Genomics and Human Genetics studies genetic risk factors for a number of health conditions that range from autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19737656-ADNFCR
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