Cervical artery dissection (CAD) is a frequent cause of ischemic stroke, and occasionally death, in young adults. Several lines of evidence suggest a genetic predisposition to CAD. However, previous genetic studies have been inconclusive mainly due to insufficient numbers of patients. Our hypothesis is that CAD is a multifactorial disease caused by yet largely unidentified genetic variants and environmental factors, which may interact. Our aim is to identify genetic variants associated with an increased risk of CAD and possibly gene-environment interactions.Methods
We organized a multinational European network,Cervical Artery Dissection and Ischemic Stroke Patients(CADISP), which aims at increasing our knowledge of the pathophysiological mechanisms of this disease in a large group of patients. Within this network, we are aiming to perform ade novogenetic association analysis using both a genome-wide and a candidate gene approach. For this purpose, DNA from approximately 1100 patients with CAD, and 2000 healthy controls is being collected. In addition, detailed clinical, laboratory, diagnostic, therapeutic, and outcome data are being collected from all participants applying predefined criteria and definitions in a standardized way. We are expecting to reach the above numbers of subjects by early 2009.Conclusions
We present the strategy of a collaborative project searching for the genetic risk factors of CAD. The CADISP network will provide detailed and novel data on environmental risk factors and genetic susceptibility to CAD.