Aneurysms don't occur earlier in second generation

Feb 23, 2009

People whose parents or aunts and uncles have had a brain aneurysm are more likely to have one themselves, indicating that genetic risk factors passed down by generation are responsible. Prior studies had suggested that aneurysm ruptures affect the offspring or second generation as much as 20 years younger than older generations. This suggests that a genetic risk factor is accumulating with each generation and that aggressive screening should be performed. But a new study shows that may not be the case, and the aneurysms actually may happen at an older age. The study was published in the February 24, 2009, print issue of Neurology.

The study involved 26 clinical centers in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Researchers identified 429 families with at least one case of a ruptured brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm is a weak or thin spot in a blood vessel that can rupture, causing bleeding into the brain, or hemorrhage.

The researchers then evaluated all siblings in two generations of each family, for a total of 1,641 people. Of the 429 families, 54, or 12.5 percent, had cases of ruptured aneurysms in two generations of the family—either parent and child or aunt/uncle and niece/nephew.

Instead of occurring earlier, once the length of follow-up was accounted for, the study found that ruptured aneurysms tended to occur on average slightly later in life. Ruptured aneurysms were identified in the second generation 50 percent less often than the older generation of the family but the study suggests that the second generation will "catch up" in the number of aneurysm ruptures as that generation gets older.

"This finding is contrary to previous studies, which have suggested that 'genetic anticipation' occurs in brain aneurysms, meaning that subsequent generations are affected at an earlier age," said study author Daniel Woo, MD, with the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Our study accounted for a similar length of follow-up in both generations, which may explain the differing result and that the risk in subsequent generations is increased over their entire life, not just at a younger age. The finding also suggests that we should be looking for all types of genetic risks, not just those that accumulate over generations, which are a very small group of risk factors."

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Fatigue, fear are daily lot of Ebola fighters: experts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rare Sri Lankan leopards born in French zoo

5 minutes ago

Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday.

Japan wraps up Pacific whale hunt

45 minutes ago

Japan announced Tuesday that it had wrapped up a whale hunt in the Pacific, the second campaign since the UN's top court ordered Tokyo to halt a separate slaughter in the Antarctic.

Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning

55 minutes ago

New research from scientists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated – a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

Recommended for you

Fatigue, fear are daily lot of Ebola fighters: experts

57 minutes ago

Doctors, nurses and hospital workers fighting the Ebola epidemic in west Africa are struggling with a daily burden of exhaustion, shortage of staff and fear for themselves over the deadly virus, specialists say.

Hong Kong makes Ebola 'contingency' measures

4 hours ago

Hong Kong said Wednesday it was quarantining all people from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia who were showing Ebola-like symptoms on arrival in the city, as fears grow worldwide about the spread of the deadly virus.

EU ready for Ebola threat: sources

7 hours ago

The European Union is equipped and ready to treat victims should the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa, be found in member states, EU sources said Wednesday.

Reducing kidney injury using a quality improvement method

11 hours ago

Using quality improvement measures in eight of the 10 hospitals in the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group, researchers have found a way to reduce kidney injury in patients undergoing a procedure with ...

App for headache sufferers shows success

23 hours ago

A unique app that helps headache sufferers to record the severity and regularity of their pain is being used as part of a Griffith research study.

User comments : 0