Good News – If we can afford it. Gene linked to stroke at young age discovered

The Times reports Tuesday 25th November 2014: Gene linked to stroke at young age discovered

Good News – If we can afford it. The test might be given only to families at high risk because we cannot afford it for everyone..

Faithful to their genes - The Times

A gene that protects young and middle-aged adults from strokes has been discovered by British scientists.

People with the variant of the gene, Phactr1, are at reduced risk of suffering cervical artery dissection — a tear in an artery leading to the brain that can result in compression of adjacent nerves, blood clotting and then stroke.

The same gene variant has been identified as a protector against migraines and affects the risk of heart attack. The breakthrough offers hopes for treatments to prevent the major cause of strokes in young people.

About 152,000 people a year have a stroke in the UK and it is the third largest cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. Brain injuries caused by strokes are a major cause of adult disability.

Pankaj Sharma, professor of clinical neurology at the Royal Holloway, University of London, who was involved in the study, said the findings were an important breakthrough. The study in the journal Nature Genetics involved researchers worldwide screening the entire genome of 1,400 patients with cervical artery dissection, and 14,400 people without it.

The Genetic Literacy Project on November 14th 2014 reported from Canada: Gene patents pose challenge to doctors treating genetic disorders

In Canada, doctors are challenging legally-held patents on genes. The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has taken the case to the Federal court, citing barriers that gene patents present in providing tests for genetic diseases

via Chris Madden

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Good News, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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