Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from a ruptured intracranial aneurysm is a devastating subset of stroke, occurring in relatively young people (mean age around 50 years) of whom around a third die within the initial weeks after the bleed. Environmental and genetic risk factors both have a role in SAH. A recent genome-wide association study of intracranial aneurysms in Finnish, Dutch and Japanese cohorts totaling 5,891 cases and 14,181 controls identified three new loci strongly associated with intracranial aneurysms on chromosomes 18q11.2 and 10q24.32, and replicated two previously found loci on chromosomes 8q11.23-q12.1 and 9p21.3. However, these five intracranial aneurysm risk loci identified so far explain only up to 5% of the familial risk of intracranial aneurysms, which makes genetic risk prediction tests currently unfeasible for intracranial aneurysms. New approaches, including identification of causal variants, rare variants and copy number variants, such as insertions and deletions, may improve genetic risk prediction for SAH and intracranial aneurysms. This may lead to diagnostic tools for identifying individuals at increased risk for aneurysm formation and rupture of aneurysms. In this way, genetic diagnostic tools will identify the people who will benefit most from screening by imaging studies for aneurysms and those who are most likely to benefit from preventive treatment of incidentally discovered aneurysms
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