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Paolo Enrico Maltese, Yeltay Rakhmanov, Alice Bruson, Lorenzo Lorusso and Matteo Bertelli


Stroke is defined as a focal or at times global neurological impairment of sudden onset and presumed vascular origin. 85% of strokes are due to cerebral ischemia and the other 15% to primary intracerebral hemorrhage.

Ischemic stroke (IS) is characterized by complete or partial obstruction of a vessel in the brain, resulting in lack of blood supply and death of brain tissue. The most common causes of IS are atherosclerosis, cardioembolism and small-vessel disease (lacunar stroke). Genetic factors play important role. Incidence rates for IS in the 15- to 45-year age range are ≈10 per 100,000 person years.

Hemorrhagic stroke (HS) is the least treatable and the most fatal form of cerebrovascular disease. Genetic mechanisms play a role in its development. Occurrence depends on many risk factors, including hypertension, heavy alcohol intake and anticoagulant treatment. According to the World Health Organization, 15 million people suffer stroke worldwide each year. The overall incidence of spontaneous HS worldwide is 24.6 per 100,000 person years. Strokes are the third most common cause of death and the most common cause of disability in developed countries.

This Utility Gene Test was developed on the basis of an analysis of the literature and existing diagnostic protocols. It is useful for confirming diagnosis, as well as for differential diagnosis, couple risk assessment and access to clinical trials.