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: Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

1 hour ago

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

2 hours ago

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

5 hours ago

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...