Brain Aneurysm Heredity

Is there a brain aneurysm heredity?

Brain aneurysm heredity explained: A brain aneurysm (also known as a cerebral aneurysm or an intracranial aneurysm, is a bulging spot within the wall of the brain artery. Eventually, the blood flow within the artery hits against the thinned section of the wall and aneurysms are created silently from the pressure on the arteries.

As this weakens, the artery wall becomes thinner from dilation, the blood flow leads to swelling and the pressure may lead to a rupture. This enables the blood to escape into the area around the brain. It often requires advanced surgical treatment.

Brain aneurysm heredity, with genetic factors playing a vital role in the pathogenesis. Studies have shown that the variants on chromosomes 8q and 9p are connected with brain aneurysms and the risk in addition to these variants increases with smoking cigarettes. One further piece of research noted chromosomal regions on chromosomes 4, 8, 7 and 12 likely to increase the risk of aneurysm with smoking. A range of research links aneurysms to chromosome 8p22.2.

Furthermore, a new aneurysm susceptibility locus in 13q was noted. Current hereditary brain aneurysm studies contribute the likelihood to a link in a sample of chromosome 9, in a gene that has been connected previously with aneurysms and novel region on chromosome 7 (which has previously been linked to ischemic stroke). This suggests a hereditary link between this stroke and aneurysm.

The size of an aneurysm

Genetic risk factors for aneurysms may impact upon the size. Genotypes of seven SNPs of the six genetic risk loci noted in genome-wide connection research of Dutch patients with aneurysms unveiled that connection between SNPs and size was assessed for single SNPs and for the linked effect of SNPs by utilizing a weighted genetic risk score.

Single SNPs outlined no connection with the aneurysm size, nor the genetic risk score. The six genetic risk loci have no great impact on the size of an aneurysm when it ruptures.

Other genetic factors may impact upon the aneurysm size and therefore lead to a rupture. Most recently, genome wide association studies have noted the 9p21 region as a risk locus for aneurysms in Sweden. One piece of research has shown an association between 9p21 and arterial stiffness, which plays a role in the development of high blood pressure.

Within brain aneurysms, 19 SNPs are associated - the strongest associations in regards to hereditary factors have been found within the following: chromosome 9 within the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B antisense inhibitor gene, on chromosome 8 near the SOX17 transcription regulato gene and on chromosome 4 near the endothelin receptor A gene.

Defining hereditary brain aneurysms

Brain aneurysm heredity: Brain aneurysms are notably defined as the presence of two or more than two family members among first and second-degree relatives with a diagnosed aneurysm or incidental ones. The incident of hereditary aneurysms occurs in around 6 to 20% of cases.

Familial intracranial aneurysm

Familial intracranial aneurysm is outlined as more than two blood relatives who have intracranial aneurysms. The hereditary occurrence suggests a genetic component as previously discussed, usually in relation to a defect of the arterial wall. A number of studies have outlined that individuals with familial intracranial aneurysms are more inclined to have more aneurysms and that these are more likely to rupture at a smaller size than those who have an isolated aneurysm.

Treatment choices differ for patients with familial aneurysms than for those with an unruptured isolated aneurysm.

The Familial Intracranial Aneurysm Study

This study has utilized a number of families that have experienced aneurysms in order to note and identify which gene leads to the rupture of intracranial aneurysms. The National Institute of Neurological Diseases' funded the research on the largest genetic connection thus far. The study consists of 26 clinical centers that have vast experience in clinical management and imaging patients with intracranial aneurysms. Around 500 respondents who have been affected by it or with multiple affected family members are included.

A vital aspect within the study is the environmental factors within the disease risk such as smoking and alcohol. Nearly all (80%) of patients with an intracranial aneurysm have smoked in their lifetime and thus this needs to be investigated. Not all patients who smoke develop an aneurysm however. Smoking could increase the risk of an aneurysm for an individual with certain genotypes and an increased susceptibility.

Last Reviewed:
July 13, 2017
Last Updated:
October 19, 2017
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