UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


New Yale-UCL collaboration in brain aneurysm genetics

18 July 2013

Intracranial aneurysms (swellings of blood vessels in the brain) are the leading cause of subarachnoid haemorrhage, a devastating stroke caused by bleeding around the brain, and a major cause of disability in younger stroke survivors.

Dr Varinder Singh Alg (UCL Institute of Neurology, Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation) was awarded a bursary to establish a new Yale-UCL collaboration on the genetics of intracranial aneurysms.

Dr Alg, supervised by Dr David Werring, Reader in Clinical Neurology at the UCL Institute of Neurology, is working on a UK-wide multicentre project, the Genetic and Observational Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (GOSH) study, funded by The Stroke Association. This study has recruited nearly 2000 participants, making it one of the largest studies of its type in this field.

Dr Alg’s award allowed him to spend one month working at the Yale Neurogenetics lab led by Professor Murat Gunel, a world leader in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of intracranial aneurysms.

The new collaboration will allow the inclusion of data from our large UK cohort to replicate new genome-wide findings on intracranial aneurysms as part of a large-scale international collaboration.

This Yale-UCL exchange will strengthen the Yale-UCL collaborative effort in the field of cerebrovascular disease, and will allow the development of future joint projects.

Read more:

For more information about intracranial aneurysm genetics please see a recent meta-analysis published in the journal Neurology: Alg VS, Sofat R, Houlden H, Werring DJ. Genetic risk factors for intracranial aneurysms: A meta-analysis in more than 116,000 individuals. Neurology. 2013 Jun 4;80(23):2154-65. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318295d751.