12/02/2005 - News

New inflammatory markers for stroke

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


New inflammatory markers for stroke

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A new study shows that a specific enzyme and protein can act as markers for stroke.
We already know of some risk factors for stroke, like high blood pressure. But there is increasing interest in 'marker' proteins or enzymes in the blood which can indicate the risk of stroke and other diseases. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine now report on two new markers which appear to indicate risk of ischemic stroke - that is, a stroke caused by a blood clot.

They followed up a group of nearly 13,000 healthy men and women for about six years and selected a sub-group of 960 for further study. Of these, 194 had an ischemic stroke and the rest did not. The researchers measured levels of a protein called C-reactive protein (CRP) and of an enzyme called lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2). Both are linked with inflammation, which is thought to predispose to stroke.

Individuals with increased levels of both CRP and Lp-PLA2 were found to have a higher risk of stroke compared to those who had low levels of both. Future work should look at whether strategies for reducing levels of these two markers may be an effective way of reducing stroke risk.

Archives of Internal Medicine 28th November 2005 Volume 165 pages 2479-2484

Created on: 12/02/2005
Reviewed on: 12/02/2005

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