Stroke should be thought of as a syndrome, or collection of disease processes, rather than a single disease. It is characterised by restriction of blood flow to the brain and is responsible for imposing a very significant burden on healthcare systems, accounting for more than four million deaths per year. It can be directly linked to the majority of adult neurological disability as well as contributing to vascular dementia, the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's Disease.
Despite its importance on a population basis, research into the genetics of stroke has lagged behind many other disorders; however, the situation is changing and there is now growing evidence that genetic factors are important in the stroke risk, often acting via interactions with conventional risk factors.
This book will provide an introduction to the field of stroke genetics, covering the general principles of genetic research and the epidemiology of stroke, before discussing the details of monogenic and polygenic disorders and the full range of cerebrovascular diseases, including ischaemic stroke, primary intra-cerebral haemorrage and vascular malformation, and subarachnoid haemorrage and intra-cerebral aneuyrisms. The book concludes by describing a practical approach to investigating patients with stroke for underlying genetic disorders, including an introduction to genetic counselling. There is also a list of useful websites.
This will be essential reading for all clinicians treating stroke patients, neurologists and researchers in the field of cerebrovascular disease.
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Hugh Markus is a Professor of Neurology, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.Review:
This book will form an extremely valuable and timely starting place for both clinicians and basic scientists, and certainly makes an excellent contribution to our current understanding of inherited causes of stroke. * Human Genetics * The book is an essential purchase for physicians and neurologists with an interest in stroke, it covers areas of research not covered in detail by standard texts . . . Although intended for the 'stroke' clinician and the basic scientist entering the field, it is potentially of interest to a much wider audience. I would encourage neurology trainees to read the clinical chapters covering monogenic causes of stroke, intracerebral haemorrhage, aneurysm and arteriovenous malformation, and neurosurgery trainees to read that on the genetics of aneurysm. Medical students and housemen would profit from reading the editor's introductory and final chapters, and if all that is remembered is the table of relative risks for stroke and the importance of taking a systematic family history, two very helpful lessons will have been learnt. Neurology and medical school libraries should certainly obtain a copy. * Journal of Neurology, 251 *
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