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Cerebral small vessel disease genomics and its implications across the lifespan.

Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 8;11(1):6285. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19111-2. PMID: 33293549; PMCID: PMC7722866.

Authors/Editors: Sargurupremraj M, Suzuki H, Jian X, Sarnowski C, Evans TE, Bis JC, Eiriksdottir G, Sakaue S, Terzikhan N, Habes M, Zhao W, Armstrong NJ, Hofer E, Yanek LR, Hagenaars SP, Kumar RB, van den Akker EB, McWhirter RE, Trompet S, Mishra A, Saba Y, Satizabal CL, Beaudet G, Petit L, Tsuchida A, Zago L, Schilling S, Sigurdsson S, Gottesman RF, Lewis CE, Aggarwal NT, Lopez OL, Smith JA, Valdés Hernández MC, van der Grond J, Wright MJ, Knol MJ, Dörr M, Thomson RJ, Bordes C, Le Grand Q, Duperron MG, Smith AV, Knopman DS, Schreiner PJ, Evans DA, Rotter JI, Beiser AS, Maniega SM, Beekman M, Trollor J, Stott DJ, Vernooij MW, Wittfeld K, Niessen WJ, Soumaré A, Boerwinkle E, Sidney S, Turner ST, Davies G, Thalamuthu A, Völker U, van Buchem MA, Bryan RN, Dupuis J, Bastin ME, Ames D, Teumer A, Amouyel P, Kwok JB, Bülow R, Deary IJ, Schofield PR, Brodaty H, Jiang J, Tabara Y, Setoh K, Miyamoto S, Yoshida K, Nagata M, Kamatani Y, Matsuda F, Psaty BM, Bennett DA, De Jager PL, Mosley TH, Sachdev PS, Schmidt R, Warren HR, Evangelou E, Trégouët DA; International Network against Thrombosis (INVENT) Consortium; International Headache Genomics Consortium (IHGC) [i.a. Dichgans M ], Ikram MA, Wen W, DeCarli C, Srikanth VK, Jukema JW, Slagboom EP, Kardia SLR, Okada Y, Mazoyer B, Wardlaw JM, Nyquist PA, Mather KA, Grabe HJ, Schmidt H, Van Duijn CM, Gudnason V, Longstreth WT Jr, Launer LJ, Lathrop M, Seshadri S, Tzourio C, Adams HH, Matthews PM, Fornage M, Debette S.
Publication Date: 2020

Abstract

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are the most common brain-imaging feature of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), hypertension being the main known risk factor. Here, we identify 27 genome-wide loci for WMH-volume in a cohort of 50,970 older individuals, accounting for modification/confounding by hypertension. Aggregated WMH risk variants were associated with altered white matter integrity (p = 2.5×10-7) in brain images from 1,738 young healthy adults, providing insight into the lifetime impact of SVD genetic risk. Mendelian randomization suggested causal association of increasing WMH-volume with stroke, Alzheimer-type dementia, and of increasing blood pressure (BP) with larger WMH-volume, notably also in persons without clinical hypertension. Transcriptome-wide colocalization analyses showed association of WMH-volume with expression of 39 genes, of which four encode known drug targets. Finally, we provide insight into BP-independent biological pathways underlying SVD and suggest potential for genetic stratification of high-risk individuals and for genetically-informed prioritization of drug targets for prevention trials.

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