Lacunar stroke accounts for 20% of ischaemic stroke and the underlying vascular abnormality, cerebral small vessel disease, is now recognised as the main cause of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia. Despite its importance we understand relatively little about what causes this disease. However epidemiological data suggests genetic predisposition is important.
Recently we have shown that accurate phenotyping of lacunar stroke using brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm cases is essential in genetic studies.
DNA Lacunar 2 is funded by a British Heart Foundation programme grant and aims to expand the existing lacunar stroke genetics resource by recruiting an additional 1000 MRI-confirmed lacunar stroke cases across multiple centres in England. It adopts the same study design as DNA Lacunar 1 which recruited 1000 similar patients, and the results of which have provided important insights into the genetics of lacunar stroke.
This study has been adopted by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN).