Elevated serum urate concentrations can cause gout, a prevalent and painful inflammatory arthritis. By combining data from >140,000 individuals of European ancestry within the Global Urate Genetics Consortium (GUGC), we identified and replicated 28 genome-wide significant loci in association with serum urate concentrations (18 new regions in or near TRIM46, INHBB, SFMBT1, TMEM171, VEGFA, BAZ1B, PRKAG2, STC1, HNF4G, A1CF, ATXN2, UBE2Q2, IGF1R, NFAT5, MAF, HLF, ACVR1B-ACVRL1 and B3GNT4). Associations for many of the loci were of similar magnitude in individuals of non-European ancestry. We further characterized these loci for associations with gout, transcript expression and the fractional excretion of urate. Network analyses implicate the inhibins-activins signaling pathways and glucose metabolism in systemic urate control. New candidate genes for serum urate concentration highlight the importance of metabolic control of urate production and excretion, which may have implications for the treatment and prevention of gout.
The prevalence of hypertension in African Americans (AAs) is higher than in other US groups; yet, few have performed genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in AA. Among people of European descent, GWASs have identified genetic variants at 13 loci that are associated with blood pressure. It is unknown if these variants confer susceptibility in people of African ancestry. Here, we examined genome-wide and candidate gene associations with systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) using the Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) consortium consisting of 8591 AAs. Genotypes included genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data utilizing the Affymetrix 6.0 array with imputation to 2.5 million HapMap SNPs and candidate gene SNP data utilizing a 50K cardiovascular gene-centric array (ITMAT-Broad-CARe [IBC] array). For Affymetrix data, the strongest signal for DBP was rs10474346 (P= 3.6 × 10−8) located near GPR98 and ARRDC3. For SBP, the strongest signal was rs2258119 in C21orf91 (P= 4.7 × 10−8). The top IBC association for SBP was rs2012318 (P= 6.4 × 10−6) near SLC25A42 and for DBP was rs2523586 (P= 1.3 × 10−6) near HLA-B. None of the top variants replicated in additional AA (n = 11 882) or European-American (n = 69 899) cohorts. We replicated previously reported European-American blood pressure SNPs in our AA samples (SH2B3, P= 0.009; TBX3-TBX5, P= 0.03; and CSK-ULK3, P= 0.0004). These genetic loci represent the best evidence of genetic influences on SBP and DBP in AAs to date. More broadly, this work supports that notion that blood pressure among AAs is a trait with genetic underpinnings but also with significant complexity.
Heart failure (HF) is associated with an overall stroke rate that is too low to justify anticoagulation in all patients. This study was conducted to determine if vascular risk factors can identify a subgroup of individuals with heart failure with a stroke rate high enough to warrant anticoagulation. The REGARDS study is a population-based cohort of US adults aged ≥45 years. Participants are contacted every six months by telephone for self- or proxy-reported stroke and medical records are retrieved and adjudicated by physicians. Participants were characterized into three groups: HF without atrial fibrillation (AF), AF with or without HF, and neither HF nor AF. Cardiovascular risk factors at baseline were compared between participants with and without incident stroke in HF and AF. Stroke incidence was assessed in risk factor subgroups in HF participants. Of the 30,239 participants, those with missing/anomalous data were excluded. Of the remaining 28,832, 1,360 (5%) had HF without AF, 2,528 (9%) had AF, and 24,944 (86%) had neither. Prior stroke/TIA (p=0.0004), diabetes (DM) (p=0.03) and higher systolic blood pressure (p=0.046), were associated with increased stroke risk in participants with HF without AF. In participants with HF without AF, stroke incidence was highest in those with prior stroke/TIA and DM (2.4 [1.1, 4.0] per hundred personyears). The combination of prior stroke/TIA and DM increases the incidence of stroke in participants with HF without AF. No analyzed subgroup had a stroke rate high enough to make it likely that the benefits of warfarin would outweigh the risks.
Background and Purpose
The field of ischemic stroke genetics is moving beyond candidate gene studies into the realm of genomewide association studies. Such studies have resulted in discoveries in diverse, complex disorders.
The author conducted an informal qualitative review of peer-reviewed medical literature.
The power of genomewide association studies to confirm prior associations and establish new ones is illustrated by recent work focusing on type 2 diabetes mellitus. A pilot genomewide association study of ischemic stroke failed to identify a single gene of major effect.
Follow-up studies with substantially greater statistical power are essential and are being planned by the Wellcome Trust and others.
ischemia; whole genome; consesus data elements
Background and Purpose
Previous studies suggest that genetic variation plays a substantial role in occurrence and evolution of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Genetic contribution to disease can be determined by calculating heritability using family-based data, but such an approach is impractical for ICH because of lack of large pedigree-based studies. However, a novel analytic tool based on genome-wide data allows heritability estimation from unrelated subjects. We sought to apply this method to provide heritability estimates for ICH risk, severity, and outcome.
We analyzed genome-wide genotype data for 791 ICH cases and 876 controls, and determined heritability as the proportion of variation in phenotype attributable to captured genetic variants. Contribution to heritability was separately estimated for the APOE (encoding apolipoprotein E) gene, an established genetic risk factor, and for the rest of the genome. Analyzed phenotypes included ICH risk, admission hematoma volume, and 90-day mortality.
ICH risk heritability was estimated at 29% (SE, 11%) for non-APOE loci and at 15% (SE, 10%) for APOE. Heritability for 90-day ICH mortality was 41% for non-APOE loci and 10% (SE, 9%) for APOE. Genetic influence on hematoma volume was also substantial: admission volume heritability was estimated at 60% (SE, 70%) for non-APOE loci and at 12% (SE, 4%) for APOE.
Genetic variation plays a substantial role in ICH risk, outcome, and hematoma volume. Previously reported risk variants account for only a portion of inherited genetic influence on ICH pathophysiology, pointing to additional loci yet to be identified.
common genetic variants; genetics; genes; heritability; intracerebral hemorrhage; stroke
family history studies; genetics; genomewide association; ischemic stroke; pharmacogenomics
Background and Purpose
Prior studies demonstrated association between mitochondrial DNA variants and ischemic stroke (IS). We investigated whether variants within a larger set of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes encoded by both autosomal and mitochondrial DNA were associated with risk of IS and, based on our results, extended our investigation to intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
This association study employed a discovery cohort of 1643 individuals, a validation cohort of 2432 individuals for IS, and an extension cohort of 1476 individuals for ICH. Gene-set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was performed on all structural OXPHOS genes, as well as genes contributing to individual respiratory complexes. Gene-sets passing GSEA were tested by constructing genetic scores using common variants residing within each gene. Associations between each variant and IS that emerged in the discovery cohort were examined in validation and extension cohorts.
IS was associated with genetic risk scores in OXPHOS as a whole (odds ratio (OR)=1.17, p=0.008) and Complex I (OR=1.06, p=0.050). Among IS subtypes, small vessel (SV) stroke showed association with OXPHOS (OR=1.16, p=0.007), Complex I (OR=1.13, p=0.027) and Complex IV (OR 1.14, p=0.018). To further explore this SV association, we extended our analysis to ICH, revealing association between deep hemispheric ICH and Complex IV (OR=1.08, p=0.008).
This pathway analysis demonstrates association between common genetic variants within OXPHOS genes and stroke. The associations for SV stroke and deep ICH suggest that genetic variation in OXPHOS influences small vessel pathobiology. Further studies are needed to identify culprit genetic variants and assess their functional consequences.
OXPHOS; mitochondria; stroke; genes
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.
Background and Purpose
Recently independent studies reported an association between coronary heart disease and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located at chromosome 9p21, near CDKN2A and CDKN2B genes. Given that stroke is a common complication after myocardial infarction, we investigated if the same SNPs were associated with ischemic stroke in our population.
We recently initiated a whole genome analysis of ischemic stroke and published the first stage of a case control study using >400 000 SNPs from Illumina Infinium Human-1 and HumanHap300 assays. We focused on SNPs recently associated with heart disease by Helgadottir and colleagues and SNPs from the same haplotype block.
In analyses both unadjusted and adjusted for stroke risk factors, significant associations with ischemic stroke were observed for SNPs from the same haplotype block previously associated with myocardial infarction. Significant association was also seen between disease and haplotypes involving these SNPs, both with and without adjustment for stroke risk factors (odd ratios: 1.01 to 2.65).
These data are important for 3 reasons: first, they suggest a genetic association for stroke; second, they suggest that this association shares pathogenic mechanisms with heart disease and diabetes; and third, they illustrate, that public release of data can facilitate rapid risk locus discovery.
ischemic stroke; genetics; heart disease; diabetes
In the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST), the composite primary endpoint of stroke, myocardial infarction, or death during the periprocedural period or ipsilateral stroke thereafter did not differ between carotid artery stenting and carotid endarterectomy for symptomatic or asymptomatic carotid stenosis. A secondary aim of this randomised trial was to compare the composite endpoint of restenosis or occlusion.
Patients with stenosis of the carotid artery who were asymptomatic or had had a transient ischaemic attack, amaurosis fugax, or a minor stroke were eligible for CREST and were enrolled at 117 clinical centres in the USA and Canada between Dec 21, 2000, and July 18, 2008. In this secondary analysis, the main endpoint was a composite of restenosis or occlusion at 2 years. Restenosis and occlusion were assessed by duplex ultrasonography at 1, 6, 12, 24, and 48 months and were defined as a reduction in diameter of the target artery of at least 70%, diagnosed by a peak systolic velocity of at least 3·0 m/s. Studies were done in CREST-certified laboratories and interpreted at the Ultrasound Core Laboratory (University of Washington). The frequency of restenosis was calculated by Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and was compared during a 2-year follow-up period. We used proportional hazards models to assess the association between baseline characteristics and risk of restenosis. Analyses were per protocol. CREST is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00004732.
2191 patients received their assigned treatment within 30 days of randomisation and had eligible ultrasonography (1086 who had carotid artery stenting, 1105 who had carotid endarterectomy). In 2 years, 58 patients who underwent carotid artery stenting (Kaplan-Meier rate 6·0%) and 62 who had carotid endarterectomy (6·3%) had restenosis or occlusion (hazard ratio [HR] 0·90, 95% CI 0·63–1·29; p=0·58). Female sex (1·79, 1·25–2·56), diabetes (2·31, 1·61–3·31), and dyslipidaemia (2·07, 1·01–4·26) were independent predictors of restenosis or occlusion after the two procedures. Smoking predicted an increased rate of restenosis after carotid endarterectomy (2·26, 1·34–3·77) but not after carotid artery stenting (0·77, 0·41–1·42).
Restenosis and occlusion were infrequent and rates were similar up to 2 years after carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery stenting. Subsets of patients could benefit from early and frequent monitoring after revascularisation.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and Abbott Vascular Solutions
Background and purpose
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is the acute manifestation of a progressive disease of the cerebral small vessels. The severity of this disease appears to influence not only risk of ICH, but also the size of the hematoma. As the burden of high blood pressure(BP)-related alleles is associated with both hypertension-related end-organ damage and risk of ICH, we sought to determine if this burden influences ICH baseline hematoma volume (BHV).
Prospective study in subjects of European descent with supratentorial ICH who underwent genome-wide genotyping. Forty-two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with high BP were identified from a publicly available database. A genetic risk score was constructed based on these SNPs. The score was utilized as the independent variable in univariate and multivariate regression models for admission ICH volume and poor clinical outcome (modified Rankin Scale 3–6).
A total of 323 ICH cases were enrolled in the study (135 deep and 188 lobar intracranial hematomas). The BP-based genetic risk score was associated with both BHV and poor clinical outcome specifically in deep ICH. In multivariate regression analyses, each additional standard deviation of the score increased mean deep ICH volume by 28% (or 2.7-mL increase, beta=0.28, standard error=0.11, p=0.009) and risk of poor clinical outcome by 71% (odds ratio=1.71, 95% confidence interval 1.05–2.80, p=0.03).
Increasing numbers of high BP-related alleles are associated with mean BHV and poor clinical outcome after an ICH. These findings suggest that the small vessel vasculopathy responsible for the occurrence of the hemorrhage could also influence its volume.
Ischemic stroke shares common traditional risk factors with coronary artery disease (CAD) and myocardial infarction (MI). This study evaluated whether genetic risk factors for CAD and MI also affect susceptibility to ischemic stroke in Caucasians and African Americans.
Included in the study were a Caucasian series (713 ischemic stroke patients, 708 controls) and a small African American series (166 ischemic stroke patients, 117 controls). Twenty single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously shown to be associated with CAD or MI were genotyped and assessed for association with ischemic stroke and ischemic stroke subtypes using odds ratios (ORs) from multivariable logistic regression models.
In Caucasians, four SNPs on chromosome 9p21 were significantly associated with risk of cardioembolic stroke, the strongest of which was rs1333040 (OR=1.55, P=0.0007); similar but weaker trends were observed for small vessel stroke, with no associations observed regarding large vessel stroke. Chromosome 9p21 SNPs were also associated with risk of ischemic stroke in African Americans (rs1333040: OR=0.65, P=0.023; rs1333042, OR=0.55, P=0.070; rs2383207: OR=0.55, P=0.070). The PSMA6 SNP rs1048990 on chromosome 14q13 was associated with overall ischemic stroke in both Caucasians (OR: 0.80, P=0.036) and African Americans (OR: 0.31, P=0.020).
Our results provide evidence that chromosome 9p21 variants are associated with cardioembolic ischemic stroke in Caucasians and with overall ischemic stroke in African Americans. The PSMA6 variant rs1048990 also appears to affect susceptibility to ischemic stroke in both populations. These findings require validation, particularly the preliminary findings regarding African Americans given the small size of that series.
genetics; single nucleotide polymorphism; ischemic stroke; coronary artery disease; myocardial infarction
Stroke occurs more commonly after carotid artery stenting than carotid endarterectomy. Details regarding stroke type, severity, and characteristics have not been previously reported. We describe the strokes occurring in the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST).
Methods and Results
CREST is a randomized, open-allocation, controlled trial with blinded endpoint adjudication. Stroke was a component of the primary composite outcome. Patients who received their assigned treatment within 30 days of randomization are included. Stroke was adjudicated by a panel of board-certified vascular neurologists with secondary central review of clinically-obtained brain images. Stroke type, laterality, timing, and outcome are reported. A periprocedural stroke occurred among 81 of the 2502 patients randomized and among 69 of the 2272 in this analysis. Strokes were predominantly minor (81%, n=56), ischemic (90%, n=62), in the anterior circulation (94%, n=65), and ipsilateral to the treated artery (88%, n=61). There were seven hemorrhages, occurring 3-21 days post-procedure, and five were fatal. Major stroke occurred in 13 (0·6%) of the 2272 patients. The estimated four-year mortality after stroke was 21·1% compared to 11·6% for those without stroke. The adjusted risk of death at four years was higher after periprocedural stroke (HR = 2·78, CI95 1·63-4·76).
Stroke, particularly severe stroke, was uncommon after carotid intervention in CREST, but stroke was associated with significant morbidity and was independently associated with a near threefold increased future mortality. The delayed timing of major and hemorrhagic stroke after revascularization suggests that these strokes may be preventable.
stroke; carotid stenosis; endarterectomy; stents; randomized controlled trial; prevention
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of APOE, MTHFR and ACE polymorphisms with stroke in the Zambian population. We analyzed 41 stroke patients and 116 control subjects all of Zambian origin for associations between the genotype of the APOE, MTHFR and ACE polymorphisms and stroke. The APOE ε2ε4 genotype showed increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke (P<0.05) and also a high risk for ischemic stroke (P=0.05). There was complete absence of the APOE ε2ε2 and the MTHFR TT genotypes in the Zambian population. The difference between cases and controls was not significant for the other genetic variants when analyzed for relationship between stroke, stroke subtype and genotype. We show that genetic variation at the APOE locus affects susceptibility to stroke. No detectable association were observed for the MTHFR and ACE genotypes and stroke in the Zambian population.
Sub-Saharan Africa; Zambia; ischemic stroke; intra-cerebral hemorrhage; outcome; risks factors
Background and Purpose
Genetic variation influences risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Hypertension (HTN) is a potent risk factor for ICH and several common genetic variants (SNPs) associated with blood pressure (BP) levels have been identified. We sought to determine whether the cumulative burden of BP-related SNPs is associated with risk of ICH and pre-ICH diagnosis of HTN.
Prospective multicenter case-control study in 2272 subjects of European descent (1025 cases and 1247 controls). Thirty-nine SNPs reported to be associated with BP levels were identified from the National Human Genome Research Institute GWAS catalog. Single-SNP association analyses were performed for the outcomes ICH and pre-ICH HTN. Subsequently, weighted and unweighted genetic risk scores were constructed using these SNPs and entered as the independent variable in logistic regression models with ICH and pre-ICH HTN as the dependent variables.
No single SNP was associated with either ICH or pre-ICH HTN. The BP-based unweighted genetic risk score was associated with risk of ICH (odds ratio [OR] = 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.21, p=0.01) and the subset of ICH in deep regions (OR=1.18, 95%CI 1.07–1.30, p=0.001), but not with the subset of lobar ICH. The score was associated with a history of HTN among controls (OR=1.17, 95%CI 1.04–1.31, p=0.009) and ICH cases (OR=1.15, 95%CI 1.01–1.31, p=0.04). Similar results were obtained when using a weighted score.
Increasing numbers of high blood pressure-related alleles are associated with increased risk of deep ICH as well as with clinically identified HTN.
The global impact of LRRK2 mutations is yet to be realized with a lack of studies in specific ethnic groups, including those of Asian and African descent. Herein we investigated the frequency of common LRRK2 variants by complete exon sequencing in a series of publicly available African American Parkinson's disease patients. Our study identified three novel synonymous exonic variants and thirteen known coding variations however, there did not appear to be any frequent (>5%) pathogenic mutations. Given the ethnic-specific LRRK2 variation previously identified in PD further studies in under-represented populations are warranted.
Parkinsonism; Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2; genetics
Mutations within the NOTCH3 gene cause cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). CADASIL mutations appear to be restricted to the first twenty-four exons, resulting in the gain or loss of a cysteine amino acid. The role of other exonic NOTCH3 variation not involving cysteine residues and mutations in exons 25-33 in ischemic stroke remains unresolved.
All 33 exons of NOTCH3 were sequenced in 269 Caucasian probands from the Siblings With Ischemic Stroke Study (SWISS), a 70-center North American affected sibling pair study and 95 healthy Caucasian control subjects. Variants identified by sequencing in the SWISS probands were then tested for association with ischemic stroke using US Caucasian controls collected at the Mayo Clinic (n=654), and further assessed in a Caucasian (n=802) and African American (n=298) patient-control series collected through the Ischemic Stroke Genetics Study (ISGS).
Sequencing of the 269 SWISS probands identified one (0.4%) with small vessel type stroke carrying a known CADASIL mutation (p.R558C; Exon 11). Of the 19 common NOTCH3 variants identified, the only variant significantly associated with ischemic stroke after multiple testing adjustment was p.R1560P (rs78501403; Exon 25) in the combined SWISS and ISGS Caucasian series (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.50, P=0.0022) where presence of the minor allele was protective against ischemic stroke. Although only significant prior to adjustment for multiple testing, p.T101T (rs3815188; Exon 3) was associated with an increased risk of small-vessel stroke (OR: 1.56, P=0.008) and p.P380P (rs61749020; Exon 7) was associated with decreased risk of large-vessel stroke (OR: 0.35, P=0.047) in Caucasians. No significant associations were observed in the small African American series.
Cysteine-affecting NOTCH3 mutations are rare in patients with typical ischemic stroke, however our observation that common NOTCH3 variants may be associated with risk of ischemic stroke warrants further study.
Stroke symptoms among individuals reporting no physician diagnosis of stroke are associated with an increased risk of future stroke. Few studies have assessed whether individuals with diabetes or prediabetes, but no physician diagnosis of stroke, have an increased prevalence of stroke symptoms.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This study included 25,696 individuals aged ≥45 years from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study who reported no history of stroke or transient ischemic attack at baseline (2003–2007). Glucose measurements, medication use, and self-reported physician diagnosis were used to categorize participants into diabetes, prediabetes, or normal glycemia groups. The presence of six stroke symptoms was assessed using a validated questionnaire.
The prevalence of any stroke symptom was higher among participants with diabetes (22.7%) compared with those with prediabetes (15.6%) or normal glycemia (14.9%). In multivariable models, diabetes was associated with any stroke symptom (prevalence odds ratio [POR] 1.28 [95% CI 1.18–1.39]) and two or more stroke symptoms (1.26 [1.12–1.43]) compared with normal glycemia. In analyses of individual stroke symptoms, diabetes was associated with numbness (1.15 [1.03–1.29]), vision loss (1.52 [1.31–1.76]), half-vision loss (1.54 [1.30–1.84]), and lost ability to understand people (1.34 [1.12–1.61]) after multivariable adjustment. No association was present between prediabetes and stroke symptoms.
In this population-based study, almost one in four individuals with diabetes reported stroke symptoms, which suggests that screening for stroke symptoms in diabetes may be warranted.
Background and Purpose
Ischemic stroke has a strong familial component to risk. The Siblings with Ischemic Stroke Study (SWISS) is a genome-wide family-based analysis that included use of imputed genotypes. SWISS was conducted to examine associations between SNPs and risk of stroke and stroke subtypes within pairs.
SWISS enrolled 312 probands with ischemic stroke across 70 US and Canadian centers. Affected siblings were ascertained by centers and confirmed by central record review; unaffected siblings were ascertained by telephone contact. Ischemic stroke was subtyped using TOAST criteria. Genotyping was performed using an Illumina 610 quad array (probands) and an Illumina linkage V array (affected siblings). SNPs were imputed using 1000 Genomes Project data and MACH software. Family-based association analyses were conducted using the sibling-transmission disequilibrium test.
For all pairs, the correlation of age at stroke within pairs of affected siblings was r = 0.83 (95%CI, 0.78 to 0.86; P < 2.2×10−16). The correlation did not differ substantially by subtype. The concordance of stroke subtypes among affected pairs was 33.8% (kappa = 0.13; P = 5.06×10−4) and did not differ by age at stroke in the proband. Although no SNP achieved genome-wide significance for risk of ischemic stroke, there was clustering of the most associated SNPs on chromosomes 3p (NOS1) and 6p.
Stroke subtype and age at stroke in affected sibling pairs exhibit significant clustering. No individual SNP reached genome-wide significance. However, two promising candidate loci were identified, including one that contains NOS1, though these risk loci warrant further examination in larger sample collections.
Randomized clinical trials often encounter slow enrollment. Failing to meet sample size requirements has scientific, financial, and ethical implications.
We report interventions used to accelerate recruitment in a large multicenter clinical trial that was not meeting prespecified enrollment commitments.
The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST) began randomization in December 2000. To accelerate enrollment, multiple recruitment tactics were initiated, which included expanding the number of sites; hiring a Recruitment Director (May 2003); broadening eligibility criteria (April 2005); branding with a study logo, website, and recruitment materials; increasing site visits by study leadership; sending emails to the site teams after every enrollment; distributing electronic newsletters; and implementing investigator and coordinator conferences.
From December 2000 through May 2003, 14 sites became active (54 patients randomized); from June 2003 through April 2005, 44 sites were added (404 patients randomized); and from May 2005 through July 2008, 54 sites were added (2044 patients randomized). During these time intervals, the number of patients enrolled per site per year was 1.5, 3.6, and 5.6. For the single years 2004 to 2008, the mean monthly randomization rates per year were 19.7, 38.1, 56.4, 53.0, and 54.7 (annualized), respectively. Enrollment was highest after recruitment tactics were implemented: 677 patients in 2006, 636 in 2007, and 657 in 2008 (annualized). The prespecified sample size of 2502 patients, 47% asymptomatic, was accomplished July 2008.
Aggressive recruitment tactics and investment in a full-time Recruitment Director who can lead implementation may be effective in accelerating recruitment in multicenter trials.
Clinical trial; prevention; Carotid endarterectomy; Carotid stenosis; Carotid stenting; Stroke
Stroke symptoms are common among people without a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack; however, it is unknown if particular attention should be focused on specific symptoms for subgroups of patients.
Using baseline data from 26,792 REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) participants without a history of transient ischemic attack or stroke, we assessed the association between age, sex, race, current smoking, hypertension and diabetes and the six stroke symptoms in the Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke-Free Status.
The mean age of participants was 64.4 ± 9.4 years, 40.7% were black and 55.2% women. After multivariable adjustment, older persons more often reported an inability to understand (odds ratio [OR] = 1.16 per 10 years older age, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07–1.25) and unilateral vision loss (OR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.01–1.18) and less often reported numbness (OR=0.83, 95% CI: 0.79–0.87) and weakness (OR=0.85, 95% CI: 0.80–0.90). Women reported difficulty communicating more often than men (OR=1.36, 95% CI: 1.19–1.56). The OR for blacks compared to whites for each of the six stroke symptoms was increased, markedly so for unilateral numbness (OR=1.97, 95% CI: 1.81–2.16), unilateral weakness (OR=1.96, 95% CI: 1.76–2.18) and inability to understand (OR=1.87, 95% CI: 1.61–2.18). Current smoking, hypertension, and diabetes were associated with higher ORs for each stroke symptom.
The association of risk factors with six individual stroke symptoms studied was not uniform, suggesting the need to emphasize individual stroke symptoms in stroke awareness campaigns when targeting populations defined by risk.
individual stroke symptoms; stroke symptoms; risk factors
A rare variant in the Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) gene has been reported to be a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease by two independent groups (Odds ratio between 2.9-4.5). Given the key role of TREM2 in the effective phagocytosis of apoptotic neuronal cells by microglia, we hypothesized that dysfunction of TREM2 may play a more generalized role in neurodegeneration. With this in mind we set out to assess the genetic association of the Alzheimer’s disease-related risk variant in TREM2 (rs75932628, p.R47H) with other related neurodegenerative disorders.
The study included 609 patients with frontotemporal dementia, 765 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, 1493 with Parkinson’s disease, 772 with progressive supranuclear palsy, 448 with ischemic stroke and 1957 controls subjects free of neurodegenerative disease. A significant association was observed for the TREM2 p.R47H substitution in susceptibility to frontotemporal dementia (OR = 5.06; p-value = 0.001) and Parkinson’s disease (OR = 2.67; p-value = 0.026), while no evidence of association with risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, progressive supranuclear palsy or ischemic stroke was observed.
Our results suggest that the TREM2 p.R47H substitution is a risk factor for frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease in addition to Alzheimer’s disease. These findings suggest a more general role for TREM2 dysfunction in neurodegeneration, which could be related to its role in the immune response.
TREM2; Frontotemporal dementia; Parkinson disease; Genetic association
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have not consistently detected replicable genetic risk factors for ischemic stroke, potentially due to etiological heterogeneity of this trait. We performed GWAS of ischemic stroke and a major ischemic stroke subtype (large artery atherosclerosis, LAA) using 1,162 ischemic stroke cases (including 421 LAA cases) and 1,244 population controls from Australia. Evidence for a genetic influence on ischemic stroke risk was detected, but this influence was higher and more significant for the LAA subtype. We identified a new LAA susceptibility locus on chromosome 6p21.1 (rs556621: odds ratio (OR) = 1.62, P = 3.9 × 10−8) and replicated this association in 1,715 LAA cases and 52,695 population controls from 10 independent population cohorts (meta-analysis replication OR = 1.15, P = 3.9 × 10−4; discovery and replication combined OR = 1.21, P = 4.7 × 10−8). This study identifies a genetic risk locus for LAA and shows how analyzing etiological subtypes may better identify genetic risk alleles for ischemic stroke.
Background and Purpose
Ischemic stroke (IS) shares many common risk factors with coronary artery disease (CAD). We hypothesized that genetic variants associated with myocardial infarction (MI) or CAD may be similarly involved in the etiology of IS. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated whether single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 11 different loci recently associated with MI or CAD through genome-wide association studies were associated with IS.
Meta-analyses of the associations between the 11 MI-associated SNPs and IS were performed using 6865 cases and 11 395 control subjects recruited from 9 studies. SNPs were either genotyped directly or imputed; in a few cases a surrogate SNP in high linkage disequilibrium was chosen. Logistic regression was performed within each study to obtain study-specific βs and standard errors. Meta-analysis was conducted using an inverse variance weighted approach assuming a random effect model.
Despite having power to detect odds ratio of 1.09–1.14 for overall IS and 1.20–1.32 for major stroke subtypes, none of the SNPs were significantly associated with overall IS and/or stroke subtypes after adjusting for multiple comparisons.
Our results suggest that the major common loci associated with MI risk do not have effects of similar magnitude on overall IS but do not preclude moderate associations restricted to specific IS subtypes. Disparate mechanisms may be critical in the development of acute ischemic coronary and cerebrovascular events.
cerebral infarct; genetics; ischemia