The Stroke Genetics Network
Living Up to Its Potential
See related articles, p 2694 and e120.
Unraveling the genetics of a heterogeneous condition such as stroke is challenging. Even the recognized subtypes of ischemic stroke have multiple underlying causes (the subtypes have subtypes). For example, cardioembolic stroke can be caused by atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathies, congestive heart failure, and endocarditis (to name just a few entities). Should investigators focus on the genetic underpinnings of cardioembolic stroke as a single entity or focus more narrowly on each particular underlying cause? In comparison with other clinical phenotypes such as coronary artery disease, for which dozens of novel loci have been discovered, genome-wide association studies on stroke have been relatively uninformative, at …