AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


UNC Scientists Identify "Collateral Vessel" Gene That Protects Against Stroke Damage

Variants of the human version of the gene may help explain why people differ so much in their ability to survive artery blockages

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have found a major clue that may explain why some people sustain relatively little damage from strokes or heart attacks despite severe arterial blockages. The clue lies in the little-understood gene Rabep2. Scientists have known that when an artery is blocked, the damage to tissues downstream is often limited because these tissues continue to be nourished by special “collateral” vessels that connect the tissue to other arteries. However, for reasons that haven’t been understood, the number and size of these collateral vessels – and thus the protection they afford – can vary greatly from on individual to the next. The UNC scientists have now implicated the Rabep2 gene as a major contributor to this variation in collateral vessel formation. Click here to read more.

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